28 Jan 2011, 9:09pm
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‘War on the West’: New Wild Lands designation could lock Wyoming residents out of public lands

By Brad Devereaux, Lovell Chronicle, January 26, 2011 [here]

Following an order by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar in December, local officials in Big Horn County are asking questions and fighting back to make sure 256,000 acres of local land aren’t locked away with a new designation that would allow no surface occupancy.

Salazar’s Secretarial Order 3310 is “a war on the West,” Big Horn County Commissioner Keith Grant told the Chronicle Monday.

The order creates a new designation of “Wild Lands” that the BLM could use to classify its public lands. Wild Lands are defined as areas with wilderness characteristics and would be protected from any man-made occupancy in the future.

Gov. Matt Mead wrote a letter to Salazar dated Jan. 17, in which he states his opposition to Order 3310.

“A Wild Lands designation will further drag out (if not permanently halt) the permitting process while local economies suffer. The BLM currently does not have the appropriate resources or track record for approval of plans and projects; and this will make the problem greater and delays longer.

“Only the elected Congress is given the power, by law, to designate official wilderness areas. But, the policy seeks such designations by administrative fiat. With all due respect, the BLM cannot achieve these ends through this means.” … [more]



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