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Chairman Hastings’ Statement on Interior Department’s List of Proposed Conservation Lands and Wilderness Designations


WASHINGTON, D.C., November 10, 2011 - House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings released the following statement regarding the Department of the Interior’s list of proposed Conservation Lands and Wilderness designations:

“To date, Congress has designated over one hundred million acres of our public lands as Wilderness – an area larger than the state of California – and last month the Natural Resources Committee held a legislative hearing on a number of additional Wilderness proposals.

“Congress has the sole authority to decide which of our lands should be included in the Wilderness system and which should, instead, be allowed to contribute to the full range of recreational, conservation, economic, and resource benefits that carefully managed multiple-use lands provide. In making these decisions, Congress will be listening not only to government agencies but also to the local citizens whose livelihoods and recreational opportunities will be directly affected.

“The federal government already owns more lands than it can afford to properly manage. We must make thoughtful and careful land-use decisions that reflect our country’s current economic situation, keep our lands healthy, and exemplify the importance of ensuring public access to public lands for multi-use purposes.”

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