Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Wild Lands Designation Threatens Access
This new "Wild Lands" policy comes on the heels of a victory when U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) dropped his effort, on Dec. 21, 2010, to pass a massive omnibus public lands bill that would have inappropriately designated millions of acres of public land as Wilderness. The very next day Salazar signed Secretarial Order 3310 and the same day the 111th Congress adjourned sine die. On Dec. 23, 2010, Salazar held a press conference in Colorado announcing the new "Wild Lands" policy. With the new "Wild Lands" policy, anti-access advocates and the administration are now seeking an end-run around Congress. Salazar's order has far-reaching implications because the BLM manages about 245 million acres of public land nationwide, primarily in western states. Federal lawmakers quickly called the "Wild Lands" policy a "land grab" and a blatant attempt to usurp congressional authority. The AMA sent a letter, dated Jan.11, 2011, to Salazar asking him to explain whether the new "Wild Lands" land-use designation will block traditional routes of travel for off-highway riding. To view the letter, click here . And to view the AMA's press release, click here.