Group urges IG to investigate BLM official

Scott Streater, E&E News

A recently formed nonprofit watchdog group is asking the Interior Department’s inspector general to investigate whether the Bureau of Land Management’s current top official skirted ethics rules in the recent decision to pause a series of public lands orders in Alaska.

At issue is whether Nada Culver, BLM’s deputy director of policy and programs who is temporarily leading the bureau, participated in the April decision to impose a two-year moratorium on five public lands orders signed by former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt in January that proposed to open about 28 million acres of federal lands in Alaska to mining and oil and gas development.

Protect the Public’s Trust — in an investigation request sent today to Interior IG Mark Greenblatt and Heather Gottry, Interior’s designated agency ethics official — asserts that Culver may have had a conflict of interest if she was involved in the delay decision.

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