The Interior Department Rightly Restored Protection to Magnificent Wilderness-Quality Lands Throughout the West

Reversal of Bush-era “No More Wilderness” Policy Applauded

Secretary of Interior Salazar’s new wilderness guidance gives needed protection to millions of acres of wilderness-quality lands in the West.  The new policy is a critical step towards ensuring the permanent protection of the last remaining wild lands in the West.   Further, protecting these remarkable landscapes will not halt the development of oil, gas and other energy sources from BLM lands.  The vast majority of these lands will still be available for development even as we ensure the lasting protection of the West’s most magnificent wilderness-quality lands.

“Secretary Salazar was absolutely right in recognizing the high value that American’s place on their wilderness lands.  He set the bar very high and now it is up to the BLM to live up to that standard.  The devil is in the details and we look forward to seeing those details,” said Heidi McIntosh, associate director for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

“This is a long overdue step to protect amazing wilderness quality lands in Utah and across the west.  With this Order, Secretary Salazar is ensuring that the nation’s wilderness resource is on equal footing with other resources such as oil, gas and mining.  Utah’s wild places will be better off with this Order,” said Stephen Bloch, attorney and energy program director for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

Read the full press release here: