Cutting the Public Out of Public Lands

Jan 14, 2020

Analysis shows overwhelming opposition to major Interior Department policy changes

Under the Trump administration, the Interior Department has suppressed public involvement and input in management decisions impacting public lands, wildlife, and energy development. In nearly every step of the planning process, the public has been cut out, while extractive industries have been welcomed with open arms. In instances where the public has provided input on major rule changes during public comment periods, Interior has consistently moved forward with proposed changes despite overwhelming public opposition.

A new Center for Western Priorities analysis of millions of public comments submitted in response to 10 major Interior Department rule changes shows the extent to which the public has opposed policies proposed by the Trump administration. Although more than 95 percent of public comments opposed each of the proposed rule changes, Interior ultimately moved forward with 8 of the 10 proposals.