Conservation & the Bureau of Land Management | Pew & This American Land (Short Version)


My wife Carolyn and I love to hike here in
Beaver Creek on the wild south slope of pike’s peak in central Colorado. My name is John Stansfield.
I’m a writer and an outdoorsman. Across the West, there are many areas like Beaver Creek that have lots of wilderness quality. They are administered by
the Bureau of Land Management. The Bureau of Land Management is an agency in the Department of the Interior. They manage 245 million acres of public lands, along with all of the resources to go along with that— the wildlife, the wilderness, the minerals. My name is Ann Morgan, and I’m a public lands consultant. It’s everything from red rock deserts,
to high mountain peaks, to old growth forests, to parts of the
California coast. Originally, the intent was to dispose of
these lands and to develop them for oil, gas, mining, and to use them for their range land resources. And only really in the 1970’s did that all change. My name is Ken Rait, and I’m the Director of the U.S. Public Lands program at
The Pew Charitable Trusts. The evolution is in response to the public’s love of these resources. The more people that are recreating on public lands, that are hunting and fishing and camping, the more the BLM is going to pay attention to the people who are recreating on the public lands. There are as many different opinions on
what constitutes multiple use and sustained yield as there are people out
there to tell you about them. And, so from a mining company’s perspective it means
one thing, for the person who wants to hike in the quiet and solitude it means
something else. My name is Elena Daley, and I am currently retired
from the Bureau of Land Management. The Bureau’s attitude is much more one of a team working together, and if you’re going to do a project, you bring in the
wildlife biologist and the archaeologists, and the hydrologist, and make sure that
you’re looking at a piece of land for all it contains. Using it doesn’t necessarily
mean abusing it. My name is Mark Squillace. I’m
professor of law at the University of Colorado law school. If I had to point to
one particular thing that really changed the BLM, it was the establishment of
the National Landscape Conservation system. This was a program that was put
into place by then Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt.
And it was really a remarkable idea. We decided it really was time to establish a conservation mission within the Bureau of Land Management. Some landscapes, it’s going to make perfect sense to allow oil and gas development. Other landscapes may have some important
recreational or wildlife resources, including things like endangered species
or important cultural sites that should be protected. In America we are so
blessed with our public lands. You don’t have to be wealthy to go out and go
camping, horseback riding, or hiking in some of the most beautiful places in the entire
world. Where in other parts of the world that’s all privately owned, you have to
be a king or friend of the King in order to enjoy that. We’re all royalty in
United States because these lands are available to all of us, and it is an
incredible world treasure.

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