Protected Landscapes and Multiple Use: BLM's National Monuments and Conservation System
AbstractOn September 18th, 1996, President Bill Clinton stood on the south rim of the Grand Canyon and issued Presidential Proclamation No. 6920 creating the 1.7 million acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. Unlike past monuments created under the authority of the Antiquities Act of 1906, President Clinton‟s Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt encouraged the President to leave management of the new National Monument within the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) instead of the National Park Service. President Clinton used the Antiquities Act to create thirteen additional BLM-managed National Monuments and oversaw the creation of five BLM-managed National Conservation Areas created as legislative alternatives to National Monuments. In 2000, Secretary Interior Babbitt consolidated these and other BLM-managed protected areas into the National Landscape Conservation System (Conservation System). This thesis uses information gathered from document reviews, case studies, and interviews to explore the question, “How have BLM-managed National Monuments altered the focus of the conflict over the role of protected landscapes within multiple use management of BLM lands?” The creation of BLM-managed National Monuments changed the historical debate over the role of protected landscapes within multiple use management in four important ways. First, the debate became more localized and exposed BLM managers to a new, more sophisticated constituency. Second, the debate changed from a fight over whether these areas should be protected to a fight over how protected these areas should be given BLM‟s multiple use management mission. Third, the debate splintered into fights over specific definitions and resource decisions. Finally, the BLM‟s land use planning process allowed warring factions in the debate to channel their energy into administrative processes and allow a common vision for the management of the Monuments to begin to coalesce. The thesis concludes with a discussion of steps policy makers can take to ensure the Conservation System and its units become fully integrated into BLM‟s broader multiple use mission.
National Monument ConservationProtected Landscapes
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