Pew Applauds Proposed Northwest California Management Plan

New Bureau of Land Management guidelines will help sustain biodiversity and address climate impacts in the region

Moss and ferns cover the banks of a fast-flowing river.
Andy Fitzpatrick

WASHINGTON—The Pew Charitable Trusts today commended the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the strong conservation measures in the agency’s proposed Northwest California Integrated Resource Management Plan (NCIP). The plan, issued June 21, would expand conservation for 382,000 acres of unique and special lands, prioritize wildlife connectivity, and include goals and actions to help the agency plan for climate change.

Through its Arcata and Redding field offices in northern California, BLM oversees some of the most diverse, unspoiled land in the country, including redwood forests, oak woodlands, winding rivers and streams, and habitat for wildlife such as bald eagles, salmon, steelhead, and sandhill cranes. These lands also hold cultural significance for many Tribes, provide clean drinking water for nearby communities, and sequester and store climate-warming carbon.

A public protest period, during which stakeholders can register any objections, closes July 22, with a Final Record of Decision expected in the fall.

Andy Maggi, a senior associate with Pew’s U.S. conservation program, issued this statement:

"The BLM has proposed strong new conservation designations, including areas of critical environmental concern, lands with wilderness characteristics, and wild and scenic rivers. These conservation measures would ensure that future generations can enjoy the solitude and wildness of northwestern California’s great outdoors.

"Since the BLM’s plans were last updated in the mid-1990s, experts have learned a great deal about the devastating impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss on our lands, forests, and waters—and about how to address these threats. This new blueprint is notable for advancing strong protections for lands and waters, as well as facilitating wildlife connectivity and planning for climate change.

"State leaders in California have adopted a forward-thinking goal to protect 30% of the state’s lands and nearshore ocean habitats. Through the Northwest California Integrated Resource Management Plan, the BLM is now aligning its management of protected areas to count toward California’s goals. In addition, many of the NCIP’s management directives align with the state’s strategy of restoring nature and landscape health to help meet climate change goals.”

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Founded in 1948, The Pew Charitable Trusts uses data to make a difference. Pew addresses the challenges of a changing world by illuminating issues, creating common ground, and advancing ambitious projects that lead to tangible progress.

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