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existing roads as a method to gain access to natural resource lands,
I am very pleased to see the section in the bill that refers to the
California Desert Area.
The California Desert contains many unique and delicate
resources that require special attention.
However, there exist many other
desert areas in the natural resource lands which have resources as unique and
as the California lands.
We suggest that the bill include an
additional section that provides for a study of all desert areas within the
national resource lands.
This study should include:
(1) A description (including maps) of each desert area on the public
An analysis of the present condition of the total ecosystem of
each such desert area.
A projection of the suitable uses which each desert area could
accept without damaging the total ecosystem.
An estimate of the natural resources contained in desert areas.
A projection of the kinds of use demands which were likely to be
placed upon each desert area; and
(6) Recommendations as to needed administrative or legislative action
which is necessary to insure that Federal management of the
desert areas is adequate to fully protect and develop each desert
We would also like to emphasize that a major purpose of this bill should
be to promote rural stability and well-being by helping to stablizė
Approximately 30,000 families (24,000 actual leases) are dependent
on BLM leases,
These leases are important to the western economy and social
We would like to, therefore, see language in this bill which favors
family farms in sales and leases of natural resource lands.
The family farm is
the basis of the western social structure.
This structure is slowly being eroded
by agri-business's recent aquisitions and conglomeration of family farms.
the Homestead Act and the Taylor Grazing Act emphasize family sized farms and
we would like to see you take their precedent by adding language that favors
family farms in both leases and sales.
While we recognize that enforcement authority is required, we cannot
endorse with a good conscience all of the provisions of this bill that deal with enforcement. We are especially concerned with sub-section (i) of section 307
which gives the Secretary power to designate any employee to carry firearms,
feel that this is an unnecessary provision that could easily be left out without
significant reduction of the authority needed to effectively manage the natural
This brings me to a further point concerning the Bureau of Land
The BLM has shown us all too often their bias towards the non
renewable resources and against renewable resources,
Their lack of ORV control,
their nonchalance towards overgrazing and their proposal of transportation
corridors through Alaska more than emphasize their inequity in management.
We are, therefore, very wary of giving the BLM, as it exists now, an excess
of power and authority.
Perhaps some stronger language emphasizing the multiple
use concept could be added to the bill.
In addition we would like to see the
language in Section 5 on public participation strengthened to include comments
on the planning and management of the natural resource lands, participation in
the formulation of plans and management programs, and hearings on any applica
tion for a permit, license, lease for, or change in, classification of public
interest lands for any purpose.
The public could, therefore, more carefully
monitor the actions of the BLM.
A final suggestion towards changing the BLM would be to revise the
Bureau's personnel manual, making the decision making process more clearly
There would be, of course, an emphasis on multiple use and sustained
I would like to thank the Committee for my opportunity to testify.
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE
Dedicated to Wildlife Restoration
Statement of Daniel A. Poole
on s. 507
I am Daniel A. Poole, president of the Wildlife Management Institute.
The Institute is one of the older national conservation organizations.
program has been devoted to restoration and improved management of renewable
natural resources for more than 60 years.
The true importance of s. 507 will not be reflected in this hearing.
Values of national resource lands are not as well-known to the general public as
those on national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges.
That lack of public aware
ness plus deteriorating conditions on much of the more than 450 million acres
attests to the lack of guidance, support, and stature of the Bureau of Land Manage
Such circumstances are ample justification for swift enactment of a strong
Organic Act for BLM.
We are pleased to join other conservationists in endorsing
It surely will be the most significant public lands legislation before
The Institute long has been concerned about the tremendous waste of
national resource land values. Opportunities to improve the lands' contribution
to local and national welfare have been continually over looked and lost. Now, con
sequently, the situation 18 worsening. Today, there is widespread deterioration of
those resources, reminicent of the early 1900's.
In order to improve public values of national resource lands, we first
must stop their degradation. And at present BLM does not have the authority, direc
tion, funding, or manpower to do it.
BLM readily admits the situation 18 bad and
With respect to one resource va lue, range, adequate documentation is
provided in a recent report prepared for the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
That report stated that 83 percent of BLM's 162.9 million acres of range
About 105 million more acres are in a static or indefinite category.
They need im
Wildlife habitat on national resource lands outside Alaska shares a
of 111 million acres of big game habitat, 52 million acres
acres and 30.3 percent of small game acres are continuing to decline at present,
There are 33 wildlife species occurring on national resource lands that
are classified as endangered.
BLM states that "public land management at the
existing level may not insure the survival of these endangered species." That con
flicts directly with mandates of the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
For the com
mittee's information, we have attached to this statement a summary outline of BLM's
A second and most useful reference document is the 1975 BLM
report on the "Effects of Livestock Grazing on Wildlife, Water shed, Recreation and
Other Resource Values in Nevada,"
Stream, lake, rangeland, and forest management as well as energy and mineral
development control are all below publicly acceptable standards on BLM administered
Such conditions are little more than a national tragedy, especially now,
the resources provided by those lands are needed so urgent ly.
The knowledge to correct those ills and others such as inadequate law en
forcement authority and inadequate recreation-use management is available.
there must be a commitment by Congress and the Administration to provide the authorities,