Nov. 12, 2008 by Robert Fischman

Stroke of a Pen: An Executive Order Protecting Public Lands

This past week, many national newspapers picked up the story from Utah, where the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) just approved a spate of resource management plans that clear the way for a massive oil/gas lease sale next month. Some of the tens of thousands of acres slated for leasing are near the boundaries of national parks, such as Arches and Canyonlands. Many more are on lands with wilderness characteristics.


This last burst of enthusiasm for fossil fuel leasing is no rogue act. It is a direct result of the instructions for public land administration that George W. Bush issued through Executive Orders early in his administration. If the Obama administration disapproves of decisions like the ones in Utah last week, then it needs to exert its leadership through Executive Orders. The first task will be to revoke the Bush Executive Orders, which push resource managers to promote oil/gas development on public lands first and foremost. But, CPR’s newest report, Protecting Public Health and the Environment by the Stroke of a Presidential Pen, recommends more than a mere revocation. The Obama Administration should articulate an alternative principle for prioritizing management of public lands: ecological integrity.


Before explaining …

  • 1 (current)
More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
Nov. 12, 2008

Stroke of a Pen: An Executive Order Protecting Public Lands