Audubon Hails Rule Creating Climate Resiliency, Balancing Development with Conservation on Federal Lands 

   “Today’s rule finally restores balance to the stewardship of America’s iconic public lands.”


(WASHINGTON D.C.-April 18, 2024) – The Department of the Interior has published a final rule for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that will ensure that millions of acres of public lands are better prepared for drought, wildfires and other effects of climate change, as well as managed for multiple uses, which will boost the health of wildlife, ecosystems and communities. 

“Today’s rule finally restores balance to the stewardship of America’s iconic public landscape – and pays it forward to future generations,” said Dr. Elizabeth Gray, chief executive officer of the National Audubon Society.  “In the face of staggering biodiversity losses, this is a great day for keeping our ecosystems healthy, our wildlife thriving, and our communities strong and healthy.” 

Nearly 245 million acres, almost 40 percent of U.S. public lands, are overseen by BLM. More than 300 bird species rely on these landscapes for their survival, which include rolling sagebrush hills, desert expanses, and vibrant river corridors – and which also support economic benefits by stimulating recreation and tourism.  

But for decades, the agency has largely focused on oil and gas, mining and other extractive uses. Today’s public lands rule establishes a framework to ensure that extraction is balanced responsibly with conservation -- including restoration and stewardship of intact landscapes, sensitive wildlife habitat, cultural lands protection, and access to nature – consistent with the Agency’s statutory mandates. 

“Protecting cherished landscapes and conserving habitat for wildlife to survive and thrive is critical to giving our children and grandchildren their best chance for a healthy life,” said Jon Hayes, executive director for Audubon Southwest. “We all live here, regardless of where we sit on the political spectrum. We all want to see thriving ecosystems in the places we love.” 

“Healthy ecosystems are critical to the future of the American West,” said Alison Holloran, executive director of Audubon Rockies.  “That’s why there is so much public support for a balanced approach.” 

An overwhelming 92 percent of public comments submitted supported the new rule – including more than 14,000 comments submitted by Audubon members, a comment letter from the National Audubon Society, and a letter signed by 194 independent Audubon chapters in 41 states.  

“Fulfilling the promise of this rule for wildlife and communities means implementing it faithfully,” said Felice Stadler, National Audubon Society vice president of government affairs. “That means BLM must work closely with states, ranchers, the energy industry and the conservation community to get the next steps right. We’ll be watching closely.” 

Support for conservation is broad and bipartisan in the Intermountain West: 82 percent of voters support a national goal of conserving America’s lands and waters in the next decade, including over two-thirds of conservative Republican voters. Four in five voters also say loss of open natural areas is a problem across the West.  


Jason Howe,; 415-595-9245 

About Audubon  
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.