Interior right to end no more wilderness policy

The reversal strikes a Bush-era decision that left huge amounts of public land vulnerable to damaging oil and gas exploration


Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision last week to reverse a Bush-era wilderness policy should be a relief to those who favor a balanced and sensible approach to wildland preservation.

The move, announced Thursday in Denver, supersedes a flawed 2003 decision and returns to the federal Bureau of Land Management the authority to identify and suggest new areas for permanent protection.

The implications for Colorado and the West are far-reaching.

The BLM will once again have the power to set aside tracts of unspoiled land while Congress contemplates whether to give those areas permanent protection against energy exploration and other activities.

It makes sense for the administration to have the ability to safeguard these special places temporarily.