Law & Order

House Committee Passes Bill to Prohibit BLM Conservation Proposed Rulemaking

By the SEMA D.C. office

The House Natural Resources Committee has recently passed SEMA-Capitolsupported legislation that would direct the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to withdraw the agency's proposed "Conservation and Landscape Health" rule (H.R. 3397). 

U.S. Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) first introduced H.R. 3397 in response to the agency's proposed rule that could potentially lock-up public lands and reduce recreation. The bill also prevents the BLM from issuing a substantially similar rule in the future.

SEMA is opposed to BLM's current proposed rule, which would broadly allow the BLM to lease lands under new and vaguely defined conservation leases, incorporate new standards when evaluating traditional multiple-use decisions, expedite designations of new Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs) and apply land health standards to all public lands. BLM's proposed rule undermines the Federal Land Policy and Management Act's multiple-use requirement for BLM lands as it would hinder access to public lands for recreation, forest management, energy and critical mineral development, and grazing.

H.R. 3397 has 19 co-sponsors, and Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) is leading an identical bill in the Senate with the support of 12 additional co-sponsors. Representative Curtis offered an amendment that passed during the committee voting session to rename the legislation the "Western Economic Security Today (WEST) Act of 2023" and dictates that the BLM director shall not issue a similar rule once it is withdrawn.

SEMA submitted a comment to the BLM opposing the proposed rule and has signed an Off-Road Business Association (ORBA)-led coalition comment that further outlines the motorized recreation communities' concerns with the BLM's proposal. Click here to read SEMA's comment and our coalition letter to the BLM.

For more information, contact Tiffany Cipoletti at