What’s the status of the Desert Plan?
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finalized the Desert Plan in September 2016 after almost a decade of highly collaborative work. Only 17 months later, in February 2018, the Department of Interior (DOI) provided notice that BLM intended to modify the Desert Plan. An overwhelming majority of people who submitted scoping comments to DOI asked that the Plan not be modified, and instead be implemented.
We are still waiting for DOI’s proposed changes to the Desert Plan. Given that conflict-ridden David Bernhardt is now the Secretary of the Interior, we expect much of the conservation aspects of the plan to be watered down or gutted, which would undermine BLM’s carefully crafted balance between conservation and other uses of these desert public lands.