(AP/KCPW News) A memo from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that was obtained by the Associated Press says the department will not pursue the designation of “wild lands,” reversing an initiative Salazar announced back in December.
The plan had run into massive opposition by states like Utah, where Governor Gary Herbert and others decried it as a federal land grab that skirted local decision-making.
The AP reports that instead, Salazar says he’ll work with Congress to develop a plan for public lands.
In a statement, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch took some credit for the reversal, saying he had stressed to the secretary “just how disastrous” the policy would be to rural Utah’s economy. Congress also had defunded the Interior Department plan during talks to avert a federal government shutdown.
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