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Wild Lands Policy Shelved [AUDIO]

A policy that called for federal acres to be inventoried for Wild lands characteristics has been shelved.

The Interior department made the announcement Wednesday¬† saying the so-called ‘Wild Lands Policy’ will be replaced by locally-supported efforts to preserve wilderness.

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The controversial ‘Wild Lands’ order from the Department of the Interior would have called for the Bureau of Land Management to take inventory of wilderness-like areas. Opponents praised the reversal announced Wednesday.

Meantime wild lands and conservation advocates says despite the decision the BLM still has an obligation to meet.

“The basic underlying law that requires the BLM to inventory its lands, including inventorying lands for wilderness values, has not changed.”

Bruce Pendry, for the Wyoming Outdoor Council, says the BLM will continue to make land use plans and decisions including decisions on how to manage wilderness areas. He points out that a rider on the current federal budget had already cut all funds to the BLM for implementation of any inventory taking.

“So the Wild Lands policy had already pretty much been put on hold, but the Secretary’s memorandum emphasized that and made it even clearer that, at least for now, this Wild Lands policy won’t be pursued.”

In a news release, Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar says the Interior Department will focus efforts on, ” building consensus around locally-supported initiatives and working with members (of Congress) to advance their priorities for wilderness designations in their states and districts.”

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