Utah Wilderness News, February 4, 2011

Will the Obama administration be serious about protecting public lands?

“There have recently been a flurry of news reports on the Obama administration’s new ‘wild lands’ policy, but these reports failed to fully explain how this policy is merely the latest move in a 35-year-long battle over the few remaining wilderness areas in the US. These pristine areas are already owned by the public, so preserving them for future generations should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, it is not yet clear that the Obama administration is serious about protecting them.” Commentary – The Huffington Post

Sen. Hatch forgets to mention that Congress gave BLM the authority to protect wild lands

“I appreciate the national beauty that Utah has to offer. However, we in Congress will not stand idly by while the President plays a reverse Robin Hood in the West, stealing an important way of life from the many for the benefit of an elite few who want these lands for themselves. I will continue to fight as hard as I can to ensure that does not happen on my watch.”  Commentary – The Standard-Examiner

Interior Department stands strongly behind new “Wild Lands” policy

“Salazar aide Steve Black on Monday said the department welcomes public input, but the decision will likely stand. ‘We want to get that feedback, work through those issues,’ he said. ‘But I don’t think you should expect material delay or change in the direction of that policy.'”  Read more – Casper Star-Tribune

Just another example of the economic benefits of wilderness

“’The wilderness provides a unique American experience that allows visitors to learn about cultural and natural resources,’ said Metcalf, who moved Black Diamond in 1991 from California to Salt Lake County, where it makes climbing, skiing and other outdoor gear. ‘Access to the wilderness for recreation, hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, adventure and solitude provides a powerful platform for our state’s outdoor recreation entrepreneurs.'”  Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune