Udall urges Norton to keep wilderness policy | SummitDaily.com

Udall urges Norton to keep wilderness policy

WASHINGTON – Rep. Mark Udall, D-Boulder, has urged Interior Secretary Gale Norton to keep the current policies that allow for interim wilderness protection for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in Colorado.

Since 1997, the BLM’s various state directors have developed the interim wilderness protection policy in Colorado. The policy was implemented with public input and received more than 3,000 comments from citizens across the state concerning it and lands examined under it for wilderness potential. 

Last month, as a result of a settlement in a case in Utah, the BLM rescinded similar policies related to lands proposed by citizen groups for wilderness designation in that state, and Norton applied the Utah settlement to BLM lands nationwide.

Udall, who represents Summit County and is a member of the House Resources Committee, said he doubts that the Utah settlement was based on sound principles, and that it should not be applied to all BLM lands and the Colorado policy should remain in effect.

“The Colorado BLM policy has been notable for its clarity, consistency, and active public participation. In my opinion, the public interest will be well served if it is allowed to remain in effect. Accordingly, and particularly in view of the unnecessary controversies that would attend a change, I urge you to make sure that it is not changed,” Udall said.

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