Salazar, Abbey order re-designates American “wild lands”

An article in an Idaho newspaper caught my eye. In it a public lands cattle rancher bemoans new federal regulations by Interior Secretary Salazar, involving the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The public lands that local ranchers use for grazing could soon be limited by the federal government under a new order from Department of the Interior secretary Ken Salazar.

The Bureau of Land Management has been instructed to reevaluate public lands for wilderness characteristics. Land that fits will be classified as Wild Lands. The exact criteria haven’t been set out yet, and that’s worrying local ranchers.

Exact criteria that hasn’t been set out yet should worry anyone dealing with rogue agency BLM particularly with Salazar at the wheel. Its definition and use will no doubt change to accommodate whatever Salazar actually has in mind for these “wild lands” and those who currently inhabit it.

From the same article:

John Thompson, spokesman for the Idaho Farm Bureau, said typically these approvals go through Congress, but not this time.

“We (typically) feel like we have more of a voice. Whereas with this, it’s just done with the stroke of a pen,” Thompson said.

In this instance, we feel your pain Mr. Thompson.

Now, does this mean protecting “lands with wilderness characteristics” from being ruined by destructive overgrazing of welfare cattle for the benefit of wilderness loving, outdoorsy Americans?

I doubt it. But Salazar wants this land for something, and I would hazard a guess it isn’t to protect it for Americans to use for hunting, fishing or just enjoying the wild.

On the BLM website in a December press release on these new regulations, Director Bob Abbey states:

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.

“. . . . will be managed to protect wilderness characteristics unless or until such time as a new public planning process modifies the designation,” are the worrying words here.

Why is this being done? In a Q and A sheet that accompanies the press release it says:

Since the controversial out-of-court settlement between then Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton and the state of Utah and other parties (Norton-Leavitt Settlement) on wilderness in 2003, the BLM has been without comprehensive national guidance on how to inventory and manage lands with wilderness characteristics . . . ”

“This guidance will bring clarity to an area of BLM management that has suffered in the wake of the 2003 Norton-Leavitt Settlement.

The Western Caucus is certainly up in arms about it.

In a post called “Ken Salazar’s power grab, just in time for Christmas” by Holly on the Hill, she states:

In an 11th hour move one day after Congress adjourned for the year, Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials announced a new policy allowing the BLM to designate public lands as de facto wilderness without the approval of states or Congress. The new policy – which overturns the Utah Wilderness Settlement Agreement – will allow the BLM to do an end-run around Congress by designating public lands as “Wild Lands” areas. These new areas would be subject to similar regulations and restrictions as that of wilderness areas.


“Secretary Salazar’s decision to change the existing policy is a blatant attempt to usurp Congress’ role over public land management. The Constitution gives exclusive control of the public lands to Congress, and the only authority that the Executive branch agencies exercise over the federal lands is that which is delegated by Congress,” said Western Caucus Chairman Rob Bishop.

So, are cattle ranchers, albeit the smaller lease owners not the millionaires, now about to be pushed out along with the wild horses and burros for some Obama Administration pet project?

Check out this language from the same press release.

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.

Ah, yes, the newly minted bureaucratic phrase of the day, “multiple-use mission.” That means using public lands for more than just millions of head of cattle and a dozen thousand or so wild horses and burros looking to escape Salazar and his BLM extermination machine.

Abbey adds later on:

“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.

Is this the same kind of public opinion the BLM solicits on proposed wild horse and burro roundups that is routinely ignored? And insofar as transparency, the BLM do not know the meaning of the word.

These resources the BLM aims to plan for include water. That is wherein future battles lay. Aerial studies have shown there is plenty of it.

What I wonder most of all is what impact all of this will have on America’s wild horses and burros. If the cattle ranchers are worried, what do we need to be?

Related Links:

— “New BLM Classification Worries Farm Bureau, Ranchers,” by Brittany Borghi, ABC Channel 8 News Idaho Falls, Jan. 14, 2011.

— Salazar, Abbey Restore Protections for America’s Wild Lands News Release

— “Ken Salazar’s power grab, just in time for Christmas,” Holly on the Hill, Dec. 23, 2010

8 thoughts on “Salazar, Abbey order re-designates American “wild lands””

  1. I would suggest looking into UN Agenda 21 – what we are seeing is all there and carefully orchestrated for decades. I would have dismissed it but a researcher friend worked on it for a whole year, vetted it out with a fine tooth comb but I only learned of it today. If you overlay a map of the wild lands plan with the horse removals, then overlay an energy map, than overlay a mining map, you have a real time view.


    1. Afraid so, Mo. Of course, we keep fighting, but I am beginning to wonder if there is really anything we – or anyone else for that matter – can do if no one with power to rein in the DOI/BLM doesn’t DO something, and SOON!


  2. Who Benefits here , of course Salazar, is there no getting rid of this public nuscience……………………….Concentrate on getting rid of the the real problem……………………


  3. This was a major appointment that Pres. Obama overlooked when he took office. The Secretary of the Interior has not upheld the office for which he is handsomely paid since he was appointed during the Bush administration. Indeed, anyone who has an interest in the preservation of our national wild places has reason to be concerned.


  4. I read one article that intimated that this would definitely benefit the wildlife departments–one of wild horses’ biggest enemies at this time. I don’t recall all the reasons why, however.


  5. Amen to it all Ray. The 2003 Norton-Leavitt Settlement has been sitting there all this time. People keep saying to quit picking on Obama and his administration. But Salazar is his man, hand picked to do this job, with the morally vacant Abbey and Glenn as his henchmen. Salazar had a little summit with Obama at Camp David, and this is the little gift they came up with for Christmas. It’s time for everyone to wake up and smell the coffee. It is a fetid brew they are perking in DC for our wild lands and its inhabitants.


  6. Well, if you have been watching Salazar, he doesn’t make any move that doesn’t benefit his pockets in one or the other. By the term, Wild Lands could mean the total clearing of all life form as we know it. No animals breathing would be allowed to roam.

    While trying to save some face after the slaughter convention, the government uses the term, “time” to mean “out of site out of mind”, so if you can’t see it then you can complain about it.

    This is the same trickery they use on “Wild Horses”, once they have been removed from range lands and place into long/short term holding areas they legally loose the federal protection clause because they are no longer “free roaming”.

    Remember the BLM, Bureau of Lost Minds, has that concrete wall to hide behind where they claim everything they do is “legal”. They use Congress when it suits them and other wise its “pen, is mightier than the sword”.

    Salazar, Abbey, Don Glen all have to make public notices and play by that same rule book so in order to beat them you will need to know what other agencies require before the BLM can just do what they want. REMEMBER, other government agencies do not like the BLM anymore than we do; they are a pain in the ass.

    And if you ever believe anything Don Glen says then you haven’t watched his lips move, because if they are he’s lying. He’s the last of the Kathleen Clarke horse killers. He will never allow anyone to inventory public property on long/short facilities to see how many the ranchers are killing off.


  7. Well I cant help but say “we told you so” to the welfare ranchers who have stood behind BLM and DOI all these years fighting for the removal of our Wild Mustangs. This is indeed disturbing. Now we will see how many of our naysayers will change their minds about their wonderful politicians.


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