Bishop Lauds Proposal to Defund DOI Wild Lands PolicyWASHINGTON— As nationwide opposition to the U.S. Department of Interior's (DOI) Wild Lands policy continues to grow, Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) today praised the House Appropriations Committee for including a provision within the House Continuing Resolution (CR) that would cease all funding for Secretarial Order 3310, the DOI's hasty new "Wild Lands" proposal which seeks to unilaterally designate what amounts to "de facto" wilderness areas on BLM lands. Bishop serves as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and
"Cutting funding for the Wild Lands policy is an important first step as we seek to stop this Administration from tightening its heavy-handed bureaucratic stranglehold on public land communities and users across this country. I thank Congressman Mike Simpson (R-ID) for taking the lead on this provision and I look forward to fighting the Wild Lands policy all the way to its ultimate extinction," said Congressman Bishop.
Under the DOI's new Wild Lands policy, more than 220 million acres of unclassified multiple use lands would be subject to further review to determine whether or not they can be classified as "Wild Lands." If the lands are determined to be eligible for the new classification, they would then be subject to new land managementregulations that restrict multiple use and access.
"It should come as no surprise to Secretary Salazar that communities and stakeholders across the country, especially in the West, are outraged by this new proposal. The DOI unilaterally moved forward in announcing the policy without the participation or buy-in from local officials, communities, industries and stakeholders who would be affected by new Wild Lands designation. You can't blame them. They were left in the dark and what you are seeing in Congress is a direct result of the frustration that so many feel about the manner in which this policy came about. Poor process always produces poor product," Bishop stated.
*The specific provision regarding funding of Secretarial Order No. 3310 can be found in section 1778 of theHouse CR.