July 20, 2023 – Today, The Conservation Alliance submitted a letter to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Biden Administration, and members of Congress signed by over 100 companies that clearly demonstrates business support for the agency’s draft Public Lands Rule. From the outdoor industry to brewers, bankers, sportsmen, and renewable energy companies, the businesses represent a wide range of industries that all rely on the outdoors for their bottom line.
Outdoor recreation generates $862 billion in economic output per year. Conserving public lands brings critical economic benefits through tourism and local recreation for rural and gateway communities situated near these lands and waters. In addition, outdoor recreation like hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, and wildlife watching on public lands creates 4.5 million jobs across the United States.
Currently, the BLM manages 245 million acres of America’s public lands, including some of the country’s most iconic landscapes. BLM lands provide critical spaces for wildlife, climate resiliency, renewable energy development, and tribally-significant cultural resources. The letter asks that the agency’s land management practices put conservation and recreation on a level playing field with other uses, saying “we support a Public Lands Rule that will ensure that our public lands continue to offer unique recreational opportunities, buffer important habitats against the growing impacts of climate change, and drive economic value and jobs for Americans. We strongly encourage the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management to do all that it can to better conserve and protect our nation’s important public lands and waters by adopting a strong Public Lands Rule.”
“The Conservation Alliance is proud to stand with over 100 businesses who are speaking up about the value of our public lands and outdoor spaces. The time has come for the BLM to focus on managing its 245 million acres for outdoor recreation and conservation benefits and we believe this rule achieves both of these critically important objectives,” said Shoren Brown, VP of Public Affairs at The Conservation Alliance.
“Our nation’s largest public lands agency, the Bureau of Land Management, has largely focused on resource extraction and commodity development for nearly 40 years,” said Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia. “As the climate crisis worsens and nature disappears, the US government must prioritize the protection of land and water for future generations and Indigenous communities, and to conserve habitat for endangered species. Otherwise, we won’t have a planet worth living on.”
“The climate crisis has made it plain that we must double down on strategies that can ensure the long-term health and viability of our public lands. REI Co-op, and its 23-million-member community, urges the BLM to swiftly implement a strong Public Lands Rule that will truly help it meet its multi use mandate and ensure that the 245 million acres it stewards are managed for their recreational, cultural and conservation value for future generations,” said Eric Artz, President and CEO of REI.
“Public lands make up much of the landscapes America is renowned for—the environments that inspire hundreds of millions of visitors annually, serve as habitats for thousands of species and inspire our sense of adventure. As a part of our mission to keep the world adventurous forever, Rivian stands alongside many diverse voices in supporting the BLM’s proposed Public Lands Rule in rebalancing land use priorities by codifying conservation as one of the formal uses for our public lands,” said Anisa Kamadoli Costa, Chief Sustainability Officer of Rivian.
The letter and list of supporting companies can be found here.