Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Babbitt blasts 'radical' GOP bill on public lands

Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt is blasting a Republican bill that would open up more than 50 million acres of public lands - such as north Georgia's Chattahoochee National Forest - to logging and other development. Babbitt was Interior secretary for eight years under President Bill Clinton. He says the bill would virtually repeal the 1964 Wilderness Act, which preserves vast swaths of undeveloped public lands. Babbitt calls the bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, ``the most radical'' proposal on public lands in his lifetime. He argues that it trades protection of wildlife habitat, clean water and clean air for corporate profits, and he calls it ``a giveaway of our great outdoors.''...more

Congress passed a law (FLPMA) directing BLM to conduct an inventory of lands for wilderness characteristics and report their recommendations back to Congress for action. BLM complied and recommended that some areas did not qualify as wilderness in their reports. This legislation would implement those recommendations. What in the hell is so "radical" about that? These recommendations have been at Congress' doorstep for 25+ years, they are finally getting off their butts to do something and Babbitt calls that "radical" and a "giveaway." What a load of b.s.

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