WildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project have called on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and immediately suspend all open public comment periods, planning processes, and major policy development. In a letter to the Deputy Bureau of Land Management Director, we highlighted the fact that virtually all American lives have been seriously disrupted as the COVID-19 crisis has grown, preventing many people from engaging in the agency’s management of public lands and resources.
In spite of the outbreak of novel coronavirus in the United States, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) continues to move forward on plans to sell public lands for fracking, rollback environmental safeguards, adopt new plans for the management of public lands and resources, and authorize private development. In our letter, we pled with the BLM to suspend these actions, stating “At this moment in time, there is simply no need for the BLM to undertake management actions and activities that distract the American public from doing their part to move the United States forward in this time of crisis and uncertainty.”
BLM’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has so far been muted. The agency has issued no statements or directives and taken no action to specifically address the crisis. Guardians and Western Watersheds Project are hoping the agency rethinks its refusal to respond to a crisis that is now affecting every American and we urge BLM to join us and all other Americans in making the response to the COVID-19 crisis the highest priority for this nation.
Read the press release.