Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Department of the Interior
Two days before Christmas last year, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar issued Secretarial Order No. 3310 asserting that the Bureau of Land Management has the authority to “designate appropriate areas with wilderness characteristics under its jurisdiction as ‘Wild Lands’ and to manage them to protect their wilderness value.” The Wilderness Act of 1964 gives only Congress the authority to designate public lands as Wilderness areas. The Administration does not have the legal authority to impose policies to create de facto Wilderness. Designating an area as Wilderness imposes the most restrictive land use policies that can be taken. It places severe limitations on public access, prohibits many popular forms of recreation and severely restricts job-creating, and energy-producing activities.
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