Utah Wilderness News, January 3, 2011

More praise for Interior Secretary Salazar's holiday announcement:

"The question now — and it’s a big one — is whether the bureau will exercise its restored authority."  Editorial – The New York Times

"Salazar realizes something that Utah’s leadership seems eager to forget, that wilderness can be at least as much an economic boost for a region as any oil-gas-uranium-ATV-snowmobile extravaganza. Compared to the booms and busts of the energy and mining industries, the economic benefits of wilderness, like the wilderness itself, can last forever."  Editorial – The Salt Lake Tribune

"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision last week to reverse a Bush-era wilderness policy should be a relief to those who favor a balanced and sensible approach to wildland preservation."  Editorial – Denver Post

"Secretary Salazar’s announcement properly places preservation and wise stewardship of outdoor recreation venues on equal footing with other uses of public lands."  Op-ed – The Salt Lake Tribune

"In a big victory for conservation advocates across the country, the Obama administration on Thursday announced it would finally end President George W. Bush's damaging 'No More Wilderness"'order. Since 2003, the rule had banned the Interior Department's longstanding practice of protecting  huge swaths of wilderness-quality backcountry."  Read more – Change.org

"Hats off to Salazar and the thousands of Americans who persuaded him to undo the harm of his predecessor. Balance has been restored."  Letter-to-the-Editor – Longmont Ledger

"Interior Secretary Salazar is absolutely correct that America's wilderness lands are national treasures. Families hike, camp, hunt, and enjoy quiet solitude in wild places. And wild places need our protection, because once despoiled by drilling or mining they are irretrievably gone, depriving future generations of their heritage."  Letter-to-the-Editor – Chicago Tribune

"With Secretary Salazar’s order, we’re back at square one, with the BLM once again adhering to the policy established by Congress in FLPMA 34 years ago."  Read more – One Utah

And some criticism of the new policy:

"And while Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's new 'wild lands' policy still leaves Congress with the final say over which lands receive permanent wilderness designations, it reinstates an administrative process that is likely to lean heavily toward the side of environmentalism and away from extraction and other land uses vital to struggling local economies."  Editorial – Deseret News

"'Wilderness' is a joke."  Op-ed – Deseret News

"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's order on wildlands, announced the day before Christmas Eve, left me with several questions about this administration's commitment to growing jobs and the economy."  Op-ed – Denver Post

"The federal government, Salazar said, was reneging on the promise made by the Bush administration — which aided and abetted the unchecked destruction of the planet, if the environmental lobby is to be believed — and will now look to lock up more of the public land it manages around the country as wilderness."  Editorial – Uintah Basin Standard

In other news:

"Utah Navajo leaders, in what may be a first, plan to become involved in the debate over the use of nontribal lands to protect ecological and cultural values in San Juan County."  Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune

"Rep. Rob Bishop will head a House Natural Resources subcommittee that oversees public lands, national parks and forests during the upcoming session of Congress."  Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune

"The makeup of the incoming House Natural Resources Committee promises to produce some fiery rhetoric, at the very least, when issues involving the management of public lands, including National Park System units, come up."  Read more – National Parks Traveler