Historically, the federal government protected pristine wilderness quality lands by designating them as "wilderness study areas." The Bush adminstration, however, agreed to a policy that prohibits the Bureau of Land Management from designating such lands as wilderness study areas. Therefore, many of the country's last wild places remain under constant threat from industrial development. Even lands that have been acknowledged as having wilderness qualities and have been proposed for Congressional wilderness designation, such as some of our most spectacular wildlands in Utah's Redrock country, are at risk from irresponsible oil and gas drilling and out of control off-road vehicle use. Wilderness represents the best of America, but its loss is permanent and irreversible.
Under new leadership, the U.S. Department of the Interior has already made some significant improvements in how our public lands are managed. Now we are calling on Interior Secretary Salazar to ensure the protection of wilderness-quality lands until Congress acts to formally designate their protection by rescinding the Bush "no more wilderness" policy. This would restore the BLM's ability to designate new wilderness study areas in the West and protect our wildest lands and vital wildlife habitat.
You can add your voice by sending a letter to Secretary Salazar from our BioGems website.