Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Salazar aide defends 'wildlands rule'

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is unlikely to change his mind on a rule that keeps some federal lands off limits. The policy, known as the "wildlands rule," allows the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management to propose some federal land as protected wilderness. The policy has been condemned by energy industry representatives, congressional Republicans and Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead. 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." Black, who advises Salazar on energy, climate policy and related land issues, spoke before the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority board at its winter meeting in Jackson. Nearly 70 people, mostly energy industry representatives, attended the public meeting...more

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