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Chairman Hastings’ Statement on Sec. Salazar ‘Wild Lands’ Memo to Bureau of Land Management Director Abbey


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 1, 2011 - House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement after Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar issued a memorandum to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Directory Bob Abbey on his decision to not implement DOI’s Wild Lands policy:

“It’s welcome news that the Interior Department will follow the law. After this positive initial step of halting the ‘Wild Lands’ order, we’ll be taking a close look at how the Administration proceeds. Congressional oversight has served a vital role in this entire process and the Committee’s active oversight on this matter will continue. Attempts to prohibit forms of public access, block job-creating activities and manage land as wilderness, even though they haven’t been designated as such by Congress, will be met with a strong reaction by this Committee. It’s important that BLM maintains this new promise of an open process, through conversations with interested parties, states, and Congress.”

Secretary Salazar called Chairman Hastings this morning to inform him of his decision to follow the policies outlined in the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution (CR) that prohibited implementation of the Wild Lands order. 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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