Acting Secretary Bernhardt Signs Order to Ensure Public Access is Considered in Land Transactions

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WASHINGTON – Today, Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed a secretarial order directing that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) adequately weigh public access for outdoor recreation – including hunting and fishing – when determining the appropriateness of the disposal or exchange of public lands. Identifying lands as available for disposal or exchange is required under federal law.

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) directs the BLM to identify lands for potential disposal or exchange, using a public process and with state and county involvement. BLM has carried out these provisions revising land use plans and disposal since 1976. However, the BLM’s criteria do not require the agency to weigh public access considerations for outdoor recreation (fishing, hunting, hiking, etc.).

Acting Secretary Bernhardt Signs Order to Prioritize Implementation of Bipartisan Public Lands Bill

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WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed a secretarial order to establish a Departmental task force to facilitate and prioritize the implementation of S. 47, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (Dingell Act). The bill was made up of more than 100 individual bills that were introduced by 50 Senators and several House members. The Interior Department had advocated for in concept or worked with Members of Congress on many of the individual provisions that made up the package.

Secretarial Order 3374, Implementation of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act establishes a task force to ensure the timely and coordinated implementation of the Dingell Act and consistency among all offices and Bureaus within the Department of the Interior.

Electric Bicycle use on Public Lands Increasing

Department of the Interior Pushes to Increase Access and Recreational Opportunities for Electric Bicycle Use on Public Lands

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WASHINGTON (Oct 22, 2019) – Today, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced its guidance to implement Secretary’s Order 3376, Increasing Recreational Opportunities Through the Use of Electric Bikes, which will allow the use of low-speed electric bicycles (e-bikes) at national wildlife refuges and other DOI-managed public lands where traditional biking occurs, expanding recreational opportunities and access to millions of Americans. The National Park Service (NPS) has previously issued guidance to allow for e-bikes to be used on most bike paths in the national parks.

Secretary’s Order 3376, signed by U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt on August 29, directs DOI bureaus to create a clear and consistent e-bike policy for the lands they manage. The policy also supports Secretary’s Order 3366 to increase recreational opportunities on public lands.

FIVE INDIVIDUALS CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH UNLAWFUL ATV RIDE IN RECAPTURE CANYON

SALT LAKE CITY – A two-count misdemeanor information filed in federal court Wednesday morning in Salt Lake City charges five individuals in connection with an unlawful ATV ride in Recapture Canyon on May 10, 2014.  The information alleges one count of conspiracy to operate off-road vehicles on public lands closed to off-road vehicles and one count of operation of off-road vehicles on public lands closed to off-road vehicles.

FWS Report Underscores Importance of Public Lands

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New 5-Year Report Shows 101.6 Million Americans Participated in Hunting, Fishing & Wildlife Activities - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Survey Preliminary Findings Show Importance of Increasing Access to Public Lands

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Interior announced a new report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that shows that 101.6 million Americans—40 percent of the U.S. population 16 years old and older—participated in wildlife-related activities in 2016, such as hunting, fishing and wildlife-watching.

The survey illustrates gains in wildlife watching—particularly around the home—and fishing, with moderate declines in the number of hunters nationally. The findings reflect a continued interest in engaging in the outdoors. These activities are drivers behind an economic powerhouse, where participants spent $156 billion—the most in the last 25 years, adjusted for inflation.

Modernized Regulations and Promoted Clean, Renewable Energy

BLM LogoBLM Marks Major Gains in 2015 Ensuring Safe and Responsible Energy Development on Public Lands

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) made major progress in 2015 promoting responsible energy development on public lands while also managing for a wide range of uses on the agency's 245 million acres.  While BLM advanced modern safety and production-measurement regulations, the agency also made progress on the development of master leasing plans for oil and gas areas as well as new landscape-scale planning efforts to achieve both conservation and energy development goals.   
 
"Each accomplishment is significant on its own, but together, they're a big stride forward in our management of the nation's energy resources" said BLM Director Neil Kornze.
 
Facilitating Renewable Energy Development 

ORI Roundtable Brings Leaders Together

Outdoor Recreation Industry RoundtableSENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS AND RECREATION INDUSTRY LEADERS DISCUSS RECREATION EXPANSION AND IMPROVEMENTS

Senior officials from the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and U.S. Forest Service met with more than 30 representatives of the outdoor recreation industry at Shenandoah National Park April 24 to discuss improving visitor experiences on America’s public lands and waters.  The meeting was hosted by the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR) at Skyland Resort – operated by National Park concessioner Delaware North. 

Recreation use to be surveyed

US Forest Service LogoNational Visitor Use Monitoring begins on Plumas National Forest

Quincy, CA - Starting in October, the Plumas National Forest will be surveying forest visitors for the National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) program. Through an agreement with Plumas National Forest, staff from the Sierra Institute will conduct the surveys in developed and dispersed recreation sites and along Forest Service roads.  "These interviewers are gathering important information on visits to the Plumas National Forest, so please pull over for an interview if you get the chance," said Earl Ford, Plumas National Forest Supervisor.  "The survey is voluntary and all the information you give is confidential." Surveyors will be wearing bright orange vests and may be near a sign that reads "Traffic Survey Ahead."  They may be out in all kinds of adverse weather conditions.

RECREATION.GOV TRANSITION UNDERWAY

recreation govRecreation.gov is starting a new chapter.  The multi-agency federal team overseeing the management of this valuable website – the provider of timely information about ways to enjoy America’s public lands and waters – has selected a new partner to take over operations in 2018.  The new team is headed by Booz Allen Hamilton and includes NIC Inc., a member of the American Recreation Coalition (ARC). 

The operation of Recreation.gov will continue through September 2018 under Active Network, another valued ARC member, which has been a leading force in technology solutions for the outdoors for more than 30 years.  Active partners with state and county campgrounds, state wildlife and conservation agencies, state and county marinas and state-owned lodges, cabins and resorts on reservations, licenses, passes and more and played an instrumental role in unifying the federal campground reservation and information systems.

Significant Progress Made in Landscape-Scale Management Efforts in 2015

BLM LogoProgress on Greater Sage-Grouse, Wildfire Prevention, and Responsible Energy Development

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 2015 made major strides toward addressing challenges that require action, analysis and planning across broad landscapes. The Bureau’s accomplishments over the past year include unprecedented efforts to conserve Greater Sage-Grouse; to devise new approaches to prevent and respond to wildfire; to make land- use planning efforts more timely, science-driven and adaptable; and to protect sensitive resources while enabling responsible energy development.  These actions exemplify how the BLM is addressing broad challenges to more effectively meet national, state, and local needs on the national public lands.

USFS groundwater directive fails to recognize sole authority of states

U.S. Forest ServiceWestern Governors submitted comments this week to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) about its proposed directive on groundwater resource management that details why the measure has significant implications for Western states and their groundwater resources.

"This proposed directive was developed without any state consultation of which the Western Governors' Association (WGA) is aware," the letter notes. "We invite the USFS to work through WGA, Western States Water Council, and individual states to facilitate dialogue on ways to improve this (and any future) proposed directive."

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