New Interior Department report characterizes public lands protections, public input as 'burdens'

Oct 25, 2017
Today the Interior Department released its final report identifying “burdens” on energy development and ways to reduce them.

The creation of this report was required by President Donald Trump’s Feb. 24 executive order and several follow-on secretarial orders from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

In response, The Wilderness Society released the following statement from Nada Culver, Senior Counsel and Senior Director for Agency Policy:

“The Interior Department owes it to the American people to protect our public lands, not sell them out to energy companies without acknowledging the inevitable consequences—and its responsibility to address them.

“We strongly object to the way this report characterizes American treasures such as national monuments, wild and scenic rivers, wildlife, water, and historic sites as burdens.

“We are also deeply concerned that, according to the report, the Interior Department considers input from the American public a mere impediment to this administration’s relentless push to open all of our public lands up to drilling and mining. Public engagement is essential for government accountability and oversight, not to mention fundamental to our participatory democracy.”