Trump administration sidelines conservation plans for Montana wilderness

Bob Wick/BLM

More than half a million acres of public lands in Montana took a hit this week with the release of an updated resource plan that will determine how some of the wildest lands in the country will be managed for decades to come. The previous plans proposed by the Montana office of the U.S Bureau of Land Management designated more than 140,000 acres of public lands as Wilderness Study Areas or Areas of Critical Environmental Concern—classifications that would protect those lands for wildlife and recreation. But now that Trump appointees are calling the shots out of D.C. on behalf of the BLM, those 140,000 acres proposed for conservation have been cut down to virtually...zero. The Wilderness Study Areas, for instance, would be “managed to emphasize other multiple uses as a priority over protecting wilderness characteristics.” Hmmm, what other uses those might be? Mining and drilling, perhaps? 

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