"Except where the law specifically requires, the BLM must not require compensatory mitigation from public land users," the memo reads. "While the BLM, under limited circumstances, will consider voluntary proposals for compensatory mitigation, the BLM will not accept any monetary payment to mitigate the impacts of a proposed action." The memo also says that the BLM should not authorize any activity that will cause "unnecessary or undue degredation."
Grandoni reports that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke criticized the practice of compensatory mitigation in a June speech for the Western Governors Association, saying "Some people would call it extortion . . . I call it un-American."