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Chairman Hastings’ Statement on Secretary Salazar’s Wilderness Proposal


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 10, 2011 - House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement in response to Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar’s letter to Congress concerning wilderness area designations:

“Based on the Obama Administration’s track record in this area, I’m taking a ‘trust but verify’ approach to their actions. The Administration only set aside its unilateral attempt to establish de facto wilderness with the Wild Lands Secretarial Order after Congress blocked its funding, and Secretary Salazar has not actually rescinded the Wild Lands order. We also shouldn’t forget the leaked documents showing internal Interior Department plotting of possible new unilateral national monument designations. Secretary Salazar and the Obama Administration need to prove they’re serious about listening to local communities and their elected leaders – just pretending to listen while calculating unilateral Presidential dictates that could significantly impede job-creating economic activities is not acceptable.”

The Natural Resources Committee held an oversight hearing on the Wild Lands policy on March 1, 2011 and a follow-up Subcommittee hearing was scheduled for May 24th, but was postponed pending an announcement by DOI on how it would comply with the policy provision passed by Congress.

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