Obama End Run around Congress and Senate
Here are a couple of articles about how our Federal Government is working around the Congress and Senate. These tactics will affect how we will be able to off road in the future. I guess they though nobody would notice since everybody busy with the Holidays.
The News Tribune
It's my understanding the Death Panels are worse under admin fiat versus what would've been ok'd by Congress. Looking forward to some Hope and Change November 2012.
Interior gives BLM authority to temporarily protect pristine western areas
By BETTINA BOXALL
http://www.latimes.com/ LOS ANGELES -- Restoring a policy abandoned by the Bush administration, the top Interior official Thursday gave the agency that manages 245 million acres of public land the authority to temporarily protect pristine areas of the West.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who issued the order, called it "a new chapter in terms of how we take care of our Bureau of Land Management lands."
Salazar's directive casts aside a Bush policy adopted after an out-of-court settlement between then Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton and the State of Utah. Under the Norton agreement, the Bureau lost its ability to manage pristine areas to preserve their wilderness qualities, pending congressional action. The move potentially opened them to energy development and mining.
The Bureau will now compile an inventory of "wild lands" and, as part of their public planning process, have the authority to keep them off bounds to development. But the classification can be modified, meaning the lands will not have the same permanent protection as congressionally designated wilderness areas.
In a Denver news conference, Salazar said the Norton settlement was wrong and "should never have happened."
But he also made a point of saying the new BLM classification would not lock up the areas, adding that "flexibility" was needed in managing them.
Conservation groups, which were highly critical of the Bush administration policy of opening vast swathes of western land to oil and gas leasing, praised Salazar's move.
"Millions of acres of unprotected, wilderness-quality lands exist on BLM lands across the West," Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife, said in a statement. "Today's announcement will allow the broad vistas of Colorado's Vermillion Basin, Utah's Valley of the Gods, and many other unique and irreplaceable landscapes, which provide habitat for wildlife like sage grouse and pronghorn, to be managed to maintain their wildness."
Wilderness rules restored for public lands
By KRISTEN WYATT
http://tinyurl.com/24lfw58 DENVER -- The Obama administration plans to reverse a Bush-era policy and make millions of undeveloped acres of land once again eligible for federal wilderness protection, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Thursday.
The agency will replace the 2003 policy adopted under former Interior Secretary Gale Norton. That policy - derided by some as the "No More Wilderness" policy - stated that new areas could not be recommended for wilderness protection by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and it opened millions of acres to potential commercial development.
That policy "frankly never should have happened and was wrong in the first place," Salazar said Thursday.
Environmental activists have been pushing for the Obama administration to restore protections for potential wilderness areas.
Salazar said the agency will review some 220 million acres of BLM land that's not currently under wilderness protection to see which should be given a new "Wild Lands" designation - a new first step for land awaiting a wilderness decision. Congress would decide whether those lands should be permanently protected, Salazar said.
Congressional Republicans pounced on the "Wild Lands" announcement as an attempt by the Obama administration to close land to development without congressional approval.
"This backdoor approach is intended to circumvent both the people who will be directly affected and Congress," said Washington Rep. Doc Hastings, a Republican tapped to lead the House Natural Resources Committee when the GOP takes control of the House in January.
The Congressional Western Caucus, an all-Republican group, also blasted the decision. "This is little more than an early Christmas present to the far left extremists who oppose the multiple use of our nation's public lands," Utah Rep. Rob Bishop said in a statement.
BLM Director Bob Abbey said it hasn't been decided how many acres are expected to be designated as "Wild Lands" and whether those acres will be off-limits to motorized recreation or commercial development while under congressional review. It's also unclear whether there will be a time limit on how long acres can be managed as "Wild Lands" before a decision is made on their future.
The BLM has six months to submit a plan for those new wilderness evaluations.
These "Wild Lands" would be separate from Wilderness Study Areas that must be authorized by Congress. Wild Lands can be designated by the BLM after a public planning process and would be managed with protective measures detailed in a land use plan.
Ranchers, oil men and others have been suspicious of federal plans to lock up land in the West, worrying that taking the BLM land out of production would kill rural economies that rely on ranchers and the oil and gas business.
Their suspicions have been heightened since memos leaked in February revealed the Obama administration was considering 14 sites in nine states for possible presidential monument declarations.
That included 2.5 million acres of northeastern Montana prairie land proposed as a possible bison range, along with sites in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon and Washington.
The 2003 policy was an out-of-court deal struck between Norton and then-Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt to remove protections for some 2.6 million acres of public land in that state.
The policy allowed drilling, mining and other commercial uses on land under consideration as wilderness areas.
Salazar's reversal doesn't affect about 8.7 million acres already designated as wilderness areas.
Conservationists praised the reversal, though there has been grumbling that it took the Obama administration nearly two years to overturn the Bush-era policy.
"Washington D.C. always takes longer than you want, but we're glad we've gotten here," said Suzanne Jones, regional director for The Wilderness Society.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Salazar, Abbey Restore Protections for America's Wild Lands
Department of Interior
Washington, D.C. Dec 23, 2010
A secretarial order issued today by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar restores balance and clarity to the management of public lands by establishing common-sense policy for the protection of backcountry areas where Americans recreate, find solitude, and enjoy the wild.
Secretarial Order 3310 directs the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), based on the input of the public and local communities through its existing land management planning process, to designate appropriate areas with wilderness characteristics under its jurisdiction as "Wild Lands" and to manage them to protect their wilderness values.
"Americans love the wild places where they hunt, fish, hike, and get away from it all, and they expect these lands to be protected wisely on their behalf," said Salazar. "This policy ensures that the lands of the American public are protected for current and future generations to come."
The BLM, which manages more land than any other federal agency, has not had any comprehensive national wilderness policy since 2003, when the wilderness management guidance in the agency's handbook was revoked as part of a controversial out-of-court settlement between then-Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, the State of Utah, and other parties.
"The new Wild Lands policy affirms the BLM's authorities under the law - and our responsibility to the American people - to protect the wilderness characteristics of the lands we oversee as part of our multiple use mission," said BLM Director Bob Abbey.
Abbey said that Secretarial Order 3310 fills an important land management need for the public and the agency. "Wild Lands," which will be designated through a public process, will be managed to protect wilderness characteristics unless or until such time as a new public planning process modifies the designation. Because the "Wild Lands" designation can be made and later modified through a public administrative process, it differs from "Wilderness Areas," which are designated by Congress and cannot be modified except by legislation, and "Wilderness Study Areas," which BLM typically must manage to protect wilderness characteristics until Congress determines whether to permanently protect them as Wilderness Areas or modify their management.
Secretarial Order 3310 also directs the BLM to maintain a current inventory of public lands with wilderness characteristics, which will contribute to the agency’s ability to make balanced, informed land management decisions, consistent with its multiple-use mission.
"Simple principles guide this common-sense policy," said Salazar. "First: the protection of wild lands is important to the American people and should therefore be a high priority in BLM's management policies. Second: the public should have a say in designating certain public lands as 'Wild Lands' and expanding those areas or modifying their management over time. And third: we should know more about which American lands remain wild, so we can make wise choices, informed by science, for our children, grandchildren and future generations."
"We are charting a new course for balanced land management which allows the BLM to take into account all of the resources for which it is responsible through a transparent, public land use planning process," said Abbey.
The Secretarial Order does not change the management of existing Wilderness Study Areas pending before Congress or congressionally designated units of the National Wilderness Preservation System. BLM may also still develop recommendations, with public involvement, regarding possible Congressional designation of lands into the National Wilderness Preservation System.
The BLM manages 245 million acres in the United States, including iconic American landscapes like Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado, the Headwaters Forest Reserve's ancient redwood forest in California, and the Iditarod National Historic Trail in Alaska. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 11 western states and Alaska. The bureau also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes its mission by managing activities such as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.
To read Secretarial Order 3310, click here.
BLUERIBBON COALITION WILDERNESS ALERT!
Help Us Stop the Secretary that Would Steal Christmas!
Dear BRC Members and Supporters,
Just one day before Christmas Eve 2010, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar announced that he had signed an Order that seeks to embed a Wilderness review in every component of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) planning, creating a unique status for Wilderness different from other multiple uses in BLM management. Secretarial Order No. 3310 and Draft Wilderness Inventory Manual
The order appears to be one of the best Christmas gifts any Wilderness activist could hope for. The timing was no accident. Secretary Salazar's new order came just after the Lame Duck Congress adjourned, having failed to pass the massive Public Lands Omnibus Bill--a package that would have created millions of acres of new Wilderness, openly supported by the Secretary. It was no accident the Order was announced after legislators had gone home for the holiday. It was no accident that none but Wilderness insiders and their media outlets knew about it until the last minute. And, it was certainly no accident that at the ceremony, the Secretary was standing right next to peolple like Peter Metcalf, CEO of Black Diamond Equipment, and that the ceremony itself took place at the REI Building in Denver - a virtual altar scene for Wilderness worshippers.
You have every reason to fear under-handed tactics even more suspicious than those attempted by some of their lame duck legislative allies. Wilderness activists will likely try to use Secretary Salazar's Order to further paralyze meaningful BLM travel management and to create millions of acres of new Wilderness.
For decades, Wilderness activist groups have applied constrictor-like pressure on the BLM regarding Wilderness issues. Some of BRC Legal's finest moments have come in rejecting those efforts, most notably the dismissal of the infamous SUWA case in Utah District Court on BRC-USA All's motion, eventually upheld by a 9-0 thumping in the U.S. Supreme Court. Sadly, this looks like another inside job in the offing, through which anti-access interests seek to seize a window of political opportunity to again squeeze BLM into a never-ending, ongoing Wilderness inventory and management scheme.
The Order is as complex and convoluted as any validly promulgated law or regulation. Its meaning is not readily apparent and will likely be determined by the courts. Our staff has conducted an initial review, which is summarized at http://www.sharetrails.org/public-lands ... azar_order.
We are not naïve enough to proclaim what Secretary Salazar's Order will ultimately mean. However, we can fairly predict what Wilderness activists outside and within BLM will say it means. They will try to use it as a landmark tool to close long-traveled routes on BLM land, not unlike they did with the Clinton-Gore Roadless Rule. History also teaches that, while all other users of BLM lands and the economies supported by them will be affected, the trail users and advocacy groups like BRC are likely to be at the point of attack (if not standing alone) in meaningful opposition.
This opposition will require a lot of time, effort, coordination and skill. It will require BRC, partners and stakeholders to be at their best. And it will cost money. I would love to wax eloquent about skinny David slaying wealthy Goliath, but I hope over the years you've learned better. You know Secretary Salazar's friends did.
We hope you will consider an end of year donation to help us fund this important fight. If you've completed your giving for tax year 2010, please put this issue on your list of campaigns to consider supporting in 2011 - and beyond.
208-237-1008 ext 101
PS: Currying political favor through public lands policy is not what Congress intended when it established the agencies that manage our public lands.
CLICK ON "STOP SALAZAR'S WILDERNESS" HERE TO HELP
Dave Walters and Who ever Ibcrawlin is...
I want to Thank you Folks for taking the time to read these things and watch out for these things.
Well, if'n I can get Social Security to kick in in March....:pot:
By Steven Sandberg
January 31, 2011
MEDFORD, Ore. - A proposed national monument on the Siskiyou Crest is facing some opposition, including from Oregon Rep. Greg Walden (R- Dist. 2).
At a news conference in Medford Monday, Walden said the primary issue over the monument involves the government's ability to change access to public lands. He says taking them out of the public's hands without input can negatively impact the economy.
Walden says the move to designate about 600,000 acres of the Siskiyou Crest as a national monument is being done without consulting the public. Walden says he is proposing a bill that would prevent this from being done without congressional approval. The Siskiyou Crest runs east to west and connects the Cascades to the Coast Range. It is an important corridor for habitat migration. The monument would be created using the 1906 Antiquities Act, which allows the president to protect lands for archaeological purposes.
Walden says the move would prevent public access to the forest. As a result, he says it would put timber workers out of work.
"Our focus in the federal government should be: What obstacles should we remove to get people back to work? Not, what obstacles we can put in place, and new restrictions, to deny people access to the public's land," Walden said.
Walden is also concerned that a lack of management would increase the risk of wildfires or bug infested timber.
He says the new bill before congress would establish concrete guidelines that involve public involvement before creating a national monument.
Rep. Walden opposes Siskiyou Crest national monument | KDRV
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