Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Utah County mobilizes against wild lands policy

Tooele County officials are adding their voices to a chorus of state leaders opposing a new federal wild lands policy. The Tooele County Planning Commission on Wednesday recommended amending the county’s resource management plan within the general plan to reaffirm a policy in favor of multiple-use management of Bureau of Land Management lands. The policy also states the county is against designating, managing or treating further areas as wilderness. The move is in response to U.S Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s December order directing the BLM to designate appropriate areas with wilderness characteristics under its jurisdiction as “wild lands” and to manage them to protect their wilderness values. The order also instructs the BLM to maintain an inventory of public lands with wilderness characteristics. Tooele County Commissioner Jerry Hurst said the new ‘wild lands’ policy would lock up 6 million more acres in Utah. “They would be accessible only by horseback and hiking, no motorized access,” he said. “It would lock up all of the multiple uses of the land, like mining and forestry. It would limit grazing and any activities that require motorized vehicles on those lands, so I’m very much opposed to that, as is much of the state.”...more

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