Evolution not revolution
I appreciate your highlighting the Bureau of Land Management's efforts to invigorate its National Landscape Conservation System (HCN, 12/20/10). After 10 years, there have certainly been mixed results, as you pointed out in your reference to the Canyon of the Ancients National Monument and its fluid mineral leasing program. But I think it's important to note that there have already been tremendous successes in the NLCS. The area I'm most familiar with is the Black Rock Desert, where there is a 10-year-old National Conservation Area that boasts a host of management achievements. The key in the Black Rock has been the engagement of partners and stakeholders from the very beginning. These partnerships continue today, and the achievements on the ground come when the BLM works side-by-side with groups like the Nevada Outdoor School, Friends of Nevada Wilderness and Friends of the Black Rock High Rock. I'm optimistic about the NLCS because I've seen it work. The changes will come -- they just may be evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
Fort Jones, California