Trout Unlimited welcomes the DOI and the BLM’s proposed rule updating oil and gas leasing policies on public lands

Contact: Tasha Sorensen, Western Energy Director, Trout Unlimited,

ARLINGTON, Va.—Trout Unlimited thanks the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management for initiating the proposed rule updating oil and gas leasing policies on public lands. The draft rule provides guidance for increasing minimum bond amounts and curbing speculative leasing of public lands that are unlikely to produce oil or gas—two Trout Unlimited priorities.

Across the United States, there are more than 89,000 oil and gas wells on over 23,500 producing leases covering over 23 million acres of public lands. Many of these leases are in sensitive watersheds that are home to native trout, and in world class big game habitats cherished by sportsmen and sportswomen.

“TU has long advocated for oil and gas permitting reform, working with federal, state, and local partners to find sensible ways to have a strong energy economy and healthy trout and salmon fisheries,” said Tasha Sorensen, Western Energy Director for Trout Unlimited. “Rulemaking will help to ensure common sense reforms to oil and gas leasing and permitting. We look forward to working with the agency to complete a rule that brings balance back to our shared public lands.”

In November of 2021, the Department of the Interior released a report on oil and gas leasing. Among the recommendations, agencies should give careful consideration of impacts to outdoor recreation and fish and wildlife habitat, ensure that oil and gas development is not prioritized over other land uses, and create more transparent leasing and permitting that provides meaningful opportunity for public engagement.

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Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to caring for and recovering America’s rivers and streams so our children can experience the joy of wild and native trout and salmon. Across the country, TU brings to bear local, regional, and national grassroots organizing, durable partnerships, science-backed policy muscle, and legal firepower on behalf of trout and salmon fisheries, healthy waters and vibrant communities.