Fox Asks Bureau of Land Management to Drop Proposed Land Withdrawal
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is asking the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to cancel its proposal to withdraw nearly one million acres of public land from potential mineral exploration and mining. Most of the land BLM proposes to withdraw is located in Phillips and Valley counties.
“From a legal perspective, the proposal is problematic for a number of reasons,” Fox said. “Ongoing litigation suggests BLM lacks the authority to make this withdrawal. But beyond the question of authority, the proposal is pointless since, by BLM’s own admission, only 4% of the land to be withdrawn has strong potential for mineral development. It flies in the face of reason to take such a broad action that’s scientifically unsupported and that needlessly adds to the voluminous federal regulations burdening Montanans.”
In his letter, Fox also points out that current federal and state regulations surrounding mineral development are sufficient to protect sage grouse habitat and address other environmental concerns.
Attorney General Fox’s letter to BLM director Neil Kornze is available online here.