Hearing Denies Wild Lands Policy Supporters Chance to Voice Opinion

Mar 1, 2011

Wilderness Society Submits Statement for Congressional Record

Despite growing support for a recent Secretarial Order that restored guidance for protecting some of America’s most treasured western lands, the level of this support unfortunately was not reflected in the limited number of witness slots allotted to supporters at today’s House Natural Resources Committee hearing on Secretary Salazar’s Wild Lands policy. Groups like The Wilderness Society, as well as organizations representing businesses, outfitters and guides, sportsmen’s organizations, and local elected officials, have expressed their support for the new policy via letters to both Secretary Salazar and the House Natural Resources Committee.

National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop said in a statement that the hearing was requested due to “so many unanswered questions surrounding the creation of the new Wild Lands designation.” Yet several westerners who support the new policy were unfortunately denied the opportunity to talk through those questions with the committee.

William H. Meadows, President of the Wilderness Society, released the following statement:

“Part of the Congressional Record from today’s hearing will now include a letter from The Wilderness Society showing our overwhelming support, on behalf of more than 500,000 members, for the leadership and management decisions for Wild Lands that Secretary Salazar has laid out. It is important that the committee recognize that an important responsibility of the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management is to identify and protect public lands harboring wild land values.”


In addition to the support letter from The Wilderness Society, you can also view letters from elected officials across the west (including 73 from Colorado alone and another 20 from California), members of the National Association of Counties, outfitters who make a living from supplying goods to the outdoor community, and others, by viewing the “related content” here.  You can also listen to a recent tele-press conference where participants discussed the economic benefits of our public lands as well as the religious community’s spiritual connection to our wildest places.