Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lands and National Forests Page: 3 of 18
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Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lands and National Forests
The 109th Congress is considering issues
related to the public lands managed by the
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the
national forests managed by the Forest Service
(FS). The Administration is addressing issues
through budgetary, regulatory, and other
actions. Several key issues of congressional
and administrative interest are covered here.
Energy Resources. The Energy Policy
Act of 2005 affects energy development on
federal lands in a variety of ways. Significant
new regulations are expected in response to
the law, including changes to the federal oil,
gas, and coal leasing programs and application
of environmental laws to certain energy-re-
lated agency actions.
Wild Horses and Burros. Controversial
changes to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and
Burros Act of 1971 gave the agencies author-
ity to sell certain old and unadoptable animals
and removed the ban on selling wild horses
and burros and their remains for commercial
products. BLM has resumed animal sales
with provisions to prevent their slaughter.
Bills have been introduced to overturn the
changes (H.R. 297/S. 576) and to foster adop-
tions and sales (H.R. 2993/S. 1273).
Congressional Research Service +
Wilderness. Many wilderness recom-
mendations for federal lands are pending.
Questions persist about wilderness review and
managing wilderness study areas (WSAs).
Bills to designate areas have been introduced,
and the 109th Congress may address wilder-
ness review and WSA protection.
Wildfire Protection. The Healthy
Forests Restoration Act, President Bush's
Healthy Forests Initiative, and other provi-
sions may help protect communities from
wildfires by expediting fuel reduction. Some
believe that more effort is needed; others are
concerned that current and additional stream-
lining will increase timber sales and damage
the environment. Legislation for research and
post-fire rehabilitation of federal lands is
being considered. The 109th Congress also has
held hearings on fire protection and on litiga-
tion over fuel treatments and use of fire retar-
Other Issues. The Administration and
Congress are addressing other issues as well,
including grazing management, hardrock
mining, FS NEPA categorical exclusions,
national forest roadless areas, federal land
sales, and R.S. 2477 rights of way.
The Library of Congress CRS
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Gorte, Ross W. & Vincent, Carol H. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lands and National Forests, report, March 20, 2006; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847706/m1/3/?q=%22public%20lands%22: accessed February 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.