Interior Chief Promises Major Push in Congress for New Wilderness Package

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Interior Secretary Ken Salazar today will ask members of Congress to move forward with legislation to create new wilderness areas and assemble a public lands package that can pass the 112th Congress.

Speaking a day after former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt implored the Obama administration to take executive action to protect the environment -- blaming White House "munchkins" for bartering away public lands (E&ENews PM, June 8) -- Salazar said he is ready to get behind numerous wilderness bills that carry strong local support.

Salazar spoke last night before the Wilderness Society's annual awards ceremony at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, where top Obama administration officials joined leaders of major environmental groups, including actor and conservationist Edward Norton.