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Obama Admin Rescinds Wilderness Protection

Obama Admin Rescinds Wilderness Protection

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar sent a letter on Wednesday to the Director of the Bureau of Land Management reversing his December 2010 order to make millions of acres of public land eligible for wilderness protection. The December order reversed the Bush administration’s 2003 policy which opened up Western federal land to commercial development.

The memo mentioned that on April 14, 2011 Congress passed an appropriations bill which included a provision prohibiting the use of appropriated funds for the December order.

A blog post on the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) points out that the congressional members who prohibited appropriated money from being used for the December order are “emboldened by the same oil and gas interests that opposed the Wild Lands policy.”

Environmental groups are naturally upset by the memo. William Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society, said, “Without strong and decisive action from the Department of Interior, wilderness will not be given the protection it is due, putting millions of acres of public lands at risk.”

MSNBC reported that a letter was sent to Congress from 50 representatives from six Western states. “Rural counties with wilderness or other protected federal lands experience greater economic and population growth than those without wilderness,” the letter said.

“A decision by the Department of the Interior today to not implement the Bureau of Land Management Wild Lands policy threatens the very infrastructure supporting the nation’s recreation economy,” the Outdoor Industry Association said in a press release.

“Repeal of the No More Wilderness policy should have been the Obama administration’s top priority for public lands when it won the 2008 election,” said the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) in a press release. “Not so.  Instead, the administration dithered for nearly two years before reversing the policy — sort of.  It issued new, weak guidance — the Wild Lands policy — which was better than nothing.  Today, they’ve retreated to nothing.”

Let Salazar know that you want federal public lands in the West to be protected. Sign the petition, Protect Land In the West!


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12:22PM PST on Jan 3, 2012

"prohibiting the use of appropriated funds"

We will be paying for the BUSH BLUNDERS for a long time to come. :(

4:10AM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

Shirley, the point is that every U.S. President appoints a cabinet to do those things that he/she (we've yet to have a female president) doesn't have time to personally take charge of. It's like a support group. I'm sure that Obama has more pertinent issues to address with foreign affairs, the horrific economy issue and the lack of support from Congress than addressing a single issue, no matter how important to US, as individuals it may be. He therefore, as every former President has done, delegates those responsibilities to his "cabinet". It's unfortunate that his choice for leading or heading the Dept. of the Interior was Ken Salazar, a clear conflict of interest. It was Salazar's decision to do this, not Obama's, personally. We need to get rid of Salazar!

8:49PM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

Actually I did read the article Diane, and I've just re-read it and am still confused. The last paragraph implies that the Obama Administration dithered over the repeal of the 'No More Wilderness' policy for two years, produced an amended, watered down version, and has now 'retreated to nothing'! Which implies they are concurring with Salazar's petition, which I find hard to believe. How can members of the Administration take such sweeping action as this, on behalf of the Administration, without first getting their 'stamp of approval'? Amazing.

I apologise for my lack of understanding of the machinations of US politics. It's even more complicated than ours in Oz, and I have a hard enough time dealing with that!

10:35PM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

Shirley, they're meant to be! It amazes me when so many articles are completely "other than" what the title suggests. The writers apparently think it will gain more attention........."shock value", I guess. Even the ones that are "on topic" often lack all the "necessary" information. This article probably wouldn't have gotten the notice and all the "clicks" if it had merely stated facts and had an appropriate "subject/title", would it? People read the titles, are either outraged and post a comment without reading, or just "thanks, noted" thing. Look at how many of those kinds of comments have been made.

8:21PM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

Thanks for pointing this out Diane L. That headline is very confusing.

8:05PM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

OMG, Jane, READ the article and then read the comments. This is a very OLD discussion, and it's not Obama, and we're not clear cutting all the trees.

10:53AM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

now we won't even have the forest to fall back on.

12:52AM PDT on Jul 6, 2011

Danny, this is an old discussion, and first of all, its not Obama that is advocating for this, it's one member or a few in his Administration, such as Ken Salazar, who needs to be fired. Isn't it unfortunate that as a sitting U.S. President, one man can't do "it all" by himself, and needs Cabinet members? Sometimes they act on their own self-interests. I do recall a few that have resigned because of doing that, and a few others eventually are replaced. It's time Salazar was, anyway.

4:57PM PDT on Jul 1, 2011

What a bum! We don't need any more "parking lots". Petition signed.

3:02AM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

Really, Ameer? "with the continuing war on terror he has recinded the protection of the thousands of civilians being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as Pakistan. Somebody who can sleep well at night knowing he was the cause of someone's child or parent dead can also sleep well if some animals dont live long either." it seems suitable for someone who is against Obama to suggest he, personally is responsible for killing somebody's child or parent in another country, yet when it was pointed out that his priority might have been finding Bin Laden rather than babysit his cabinet members, it was said that they didn't realize he had personally been looking for him. This seems a bit hypocritical to me. Nice to be able to twist things around to suit one's perspective.

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