Monday, May 02, 2011

State of Utah Files Suit Against Federal Government to Set Aside “Wild Lands” Order

Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert announced Friday that the State of Utah has filed suit in federal court, asking the court to invalidate Secretarial Order 3310 which departed from Congressionally-authorized procedure and created a new “Wild Lands” designation for public lands. “The Department of Interior sought no input from me – nor any other Governor – before they issued this order,” said Governor Herbert. “The order undid years of collaborative and costly work. State and county officials, environmental organizations, natural resources industries, citizens, and local Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offices have labored to create Resource Management Plans – the legal and proper way to determine the designation and use of our public lands. This order circumvents that system, and Congressional authority, to designate lands by bureaucratic fiat.” The lawsuit will ask the federal court to declare Order 3310 null and void, set BLM manuals created pursuant to the order set aside, and prevent the Department of Interior from managing public lands in a manner contrary to existing BLM Resource Management Plans. "Federal law makes it clear that wilderness designation is reserved to Congress, not the executive branch, and the time has passed to designate additional wilderness,” said Utah Chief Deputy Attorney General John Swallow. “We believe Secretary Order 3310 is an attempt to unlawfully create new wilderness areas and violates the settlement agreement between the Department of the Interior and the state of Utah. The Utah Attorney General's Office will stand up and defend the critical rights to multiple-access on federal lands."...more

You can read the complaint here.

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