The Department of Interior took a major step backward on wilderness protection June 1. Bowing to political opposition from right-wing members of Congress, the Administration seems to be moving away from its landmark Wild Lands Policy, put in place just five months ago to help the Bureau of
I’m Michelle Haefele, an economist with The Wilderness Society in Denver. I’m also fourth generation Coloradoan. I grew up hiking and camping in mountains west of home, on our public forests and deserts.
When did it become open season on our open spaces? First, Congress slashed conservation and environmental programs. Then we saw a backroom deal that stopped the BLM’s new Wildlands policy in its tracks.
This paper looks back at the evolution of the BLM’s conservation mission as a vital part of its mandate, including multiple use, through the agency’s creation and the first fundamental shifts toward retaining public lands for public use and management.