Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Wednesday defended a proposed Bureau of Land Management rule that gives conservation uses of the land it manages “equal footing” with grazing, energy production, mining, and recreation.
The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to give conservation uses of the land it manages “equal footing” with grazing, energy production, mining, and recreation, and to even allow companies to lease lands for environmental mitigation.
The federal government’s Drought Resilience Interagency Working Group is helping coordinate the distribution of $13 billion provided by the infrastructure bill as drought continues to hammer western communities.
The Interior Department is doling out more than $240 million for repairs to aging water infrastructure in the drought-ridden West, one of the first investments with ramifications for agriculture in the $1.5 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law enacted last year.
The Biden administration plans to use the month of April to highlight the investments and initiatives included in the 2021 infrastructure package, including a Monday event in Colorado aimed at forest fire management and a Tuesday visit to an Iowa ethanol plant.
The Biden administration has been filling positions relatively quickly at departments and agencies other than USDA that have regulatory authority over agriculture, while some of Donald Trump’s nominees to similar positions ran into troubles during the confirmation process.