Colorado Officials Sign on to Interior Wilderness Plan

Excerpts:

A group of 70 mostly Democratic elected officials from around Colorado have sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar praising a recent decision that could extend wilderness protections to millions of new acres of western lands.

Salazar is in the process of implementing a secretarial order announced in Denver late last year which could bring more wilderness protection to Bureau of Land Management lands. Oil and gas industry officials argue the order effectively closes off land to development.

But Suzanne Jones, executive director of the Wilderness Society's Central Rockies office, disagrees.