The 30 by 30 Proposal, Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, and the Protection of Tribal Cultural Lands

8 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2022 Last revised: 6 May 2022

See all articles by Michael C. Blumm

Michael C. Blumm

Lewis & Clark College Paul L Boley Library

Greg Allen

Lewis & Clark College, Law School

Date Written: February 16, 2022

Abstract

Among the most innovative provisions of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976 were those called for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)to designate public lands as “areas of critical environmental concern” (ACECs) for protective management. In fact, FLPMA made it quite clear that national policy was to give ACECs priority in public land planning. Nearly a half-century later, the ACEC program has failed to achieve its promise, beset with inconsistent management and lacking even programmatic regulations. BLM did attempt to revitalize the program in revised planning regulations the agency promulgated in 2016, but Congress exercised its veto authority under the Congressional Review Act, so BLM continues to operate under outdated regulations promulgated during the Reagan administration.

The Biden administration has an opportunity to modernize and reinvigorate the ACEC program through its recent commitment to preserve 30% of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030. This paper suggests that a renewed ACEC program would be a fitting vehicle to help accomplish that “30 by 30” goal. In particular, we suggest that BLM promulgate ACEC regulations that invite tribes to nominate ACECs and promise to structure collaborative management arrangements that would enable tribes to participate as co-managers of their ceded lands.

Keywords: public lands law, environmental law, Federal Land Policy and Management Act, grazing, tribes, Indian law, protected lands

JEL Classification: H11, H82, K11, K23, K32, Q15, Q24, Q28, Q38, R52

Suggested Citation

Blumm, Michael C. and Allen, Greg, The 30 by 30 Proposal, Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, and the Protection of Tribal Cultural Lands (February 16, 2022). Environmental Law Reporter, Vol. 52, 2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4036086

Michael C. Blumm (Contact Author)

Lewis & Clark College Paul L Boley Library ( email )

10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, OR 97219
United States
503-768-6824 (Phone)
503-768-6701 (Fax)

Greg Allen

Lewis & Clark College, Law School ( email )

10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, OR 97219
United States

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