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Governor Mead asks Department of Interior to rescind Wild Lands Order

posted Aug 30, 2013, 9:07 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Sep 16, 2013, 2:02 PM ]

State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7437


Renny MacKay
Communications Director

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – In a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Governor Matt Mead expressed deep concerns with the administration’s signing of Secretarial Order 3310. That order directs the Bureau of Land Management to identify public lands as “Wild Lands” and protect them for their wilderness values.
“This letter is to advise you that I firmly oppose Secretarial Order 3310,” Mead wrote. He added his concern that the order was released just before the Christmas holiday and at a time when his office and other governors’ offices were in transition. “Though you will seek feedback from State BLM offices prior to issuing final agency guidance, the opportunity for public input on the policy itself was never afforded.”
Mead also expressed concern about the impact that this order could have on the economy of Wyoming and its communities. He wrote, “The policy ignores the contribution of Wyoming’s natural resources to the nation’s economic sustainability. It ignores the revenues our State and local governments depend on from mineral and other development. It fails to address the impact to ranchers, recreationalists, and all the others who rely on the lands for so many different reasons.”
Specifically, Governor Mead says the order could drag out or halt the permitting process for BLM lands.
The Governor’s letter ends, “Only the elected Congress is given the power, by law, to designate official Wilderness areas. But, the policy seeks such designations by administrative fiat. With all due respect, the BLM cannot achieve these ends through this means. Please rescind the order for the reasons set forth in this letter and in the name of balance, transparency and the BLM’s multiple-use mandate.”

The letter to Secretary Salazar is attached and Governor Mead will be available to the media to take questions at 3:15 today in the Formal Conference room in the Governor’s office. Teleconferencing is available for those unable to attend in person. Call 1-877-278-8686 and enter the participant code 590460 when prompted.
In order to minimize impacts on media who are collecting broadcast audio during the call, please:
• connect between 5-10 minutes before the conference begins; and
• mute your phone line when not addressing the Governor

Renny MacKay
Office of Governor Matt Mead-Communications Director
(307) 777-7437