Saturday, December 25, 2010

Commerce and Energy Needs Be Damned! Interior Department Circumventing Congress to Control Wildnerness Areas

Wilderness rules to be restored for public lands
By Kristen Wyatt
Anchorage Daily News
December 23, 2010

DENVER -- The Obama administration plans to reverse a Bush-era policy and make millions of undeveloped acres, including some in Alaska, again eligible for federal wilderness protection, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Thursday.

The agency will replace the 2003 policy adopted under then-Interior Secretary Gale Norton. That policy — derided by some as the “No More Wilderness” policy — stated that new areas could not be recommended for wilderness protection by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and it opened millions of acres to potential commercial development.

That policy “frankly never should have happened and was wrong in the first place,” Salazar said Thursday.

Environmental activists have been pushing for the Obama administration to restore protections for potential wilderness areas.
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