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Mohave County opposes BLM conservation rule

Boundary Cone south of Oatman, Ariz., in Mohave County's Black Mountains.
Arizona Geological Survey
Boundary Cone south of Oatman, Ariz., in Mohave County's Black Mountains.

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors voted to submit a letter to the Bureau of Land Management against a new rule that would make “conservation” an official designation for federal lands.

According to the Kingman Daily Miner, the board says the plan could threaten economic stability, recreational opportunities and traditional land uses throughout Mohave County and the West.

The Public Lands Rule is an update to federal regulations that puts conservation on par with other uses of BLM lands, such as grazing, mining, and oil and gas development. The rule directs the BLM to “protect intact landscapes, restore degraded habitat, and make informed decisions based on science.”

Conservationists have praised the update as a positive step for the environment.

About 70% of Mohave County’s land is federally managed. Officials also worry the rule would create uncertainty for responsible natural resource development like mining and energy production, which they say could discourage land development.

The board asked the BLM to extend the public comment period so local officials have enough time to assess the possible impacts. They also want the agency to host public meetings in Mohave County and for an economic analysis to be conducted to understand the potential consequences the rule could cause.

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