In the memo, Secretary Salazar directs Deputy Secretary David Hayes to work with the BLM and interested parties to develop recommendations regarding the management of public lands with wilderness characteristics. Noting the longstanding and widespread support for the designation of wilderness areas, Salazar also directed Hayes to solicit input from Members of Congress, state and local officials, tribes and federal land managers to identify BLM lands that may be appropriate candidates for Congressional protection under the Wilderness Act. Hayes will deliver a report to the Secretary and Congress regarding those areas.
In the memo, Salazar also confirmed that BLM must continue to meet its responsibilities under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), including the requirement that it maintain inventories of the public lands, their resources and other values that it manages. The BLM currently manages 221 Wilderness Areas designated by Congress and 545 Wilderness Study Areas, comprising approximately 8.8 percent of the nearly 245 million acres managed by the BLM.
In December, 2010, Secretary Salazar issued Secretarial Order 3310, directing the BLM to use the public resource management planning process to gather public input and designate certain lands with wilderness characteristics as "Wild Lands." On April 14, 2011, Congress passed the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, which includes a provision (Section 1769) that prohibits the use of appropriated funds to implement, administer, or enforce Secretarial Order 3310 in fiscal year 2011.
Access a release from DOI (click here). Access Secretary Salazar's signed memo (click here). Access the BLM Wilderness Areas website for more information (click here). Access a release from Sen. Barrasso with additional information (click here). Access a release from Rep. Hastings (click here). Access a release from The Wilderness Society and link to more information on wild land policy (click here). Access legislative details for S.1087 (click here, posted soon). Access legislative details for H.R.1581 (click here). [*Land]