Monday, January 3, 2011

Obama/Salazar Launch War on the West Part Deux

Salazar Vision for BLM in 2011?

By now, many of you have already seen articles/alerts about Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s new Wilderness agenda for BLM. The Recreation HQ believes the Holiday season launch of this new program signals the formal beginning of Obama’s 21st Century part deux version of Clinton’s War on the West.

WSJ Article on new Wilderness Agenda

BRC Alert on new Wilderness Agenda

BRC’s Excellent Overview of Salazar’s New Wilderness Agenda (a good and long read)

An initial review between the Obama and Clinton Wars on the West reveals many of the same issues. The federal government is again looking at the need for more designated Wilderness areas, conservation easements/greenbelts, Roadless areas, etc. However, there is a new process by which the BLM analyzes and/or recommends land for closures by naming them as Lands with Wilderness Characteristics (LWCs).

In Clinton’s War on the West, the much-maligned “Timber Industry” was the main player in those fights with OHV and other pro-access interests cast in a supporting role. Today, The General believes that OHV/access interests will have to take the lead since the Timber Industry is pretty much out-of-business on federal lands..

As this saga unfolds, HQ wants to pose the following questions, “Is Salazar the new Bruce Babbitt or just a wannabe and is OHV able to fill the leadership role that Timber once had in part one?” Those questions will be answered in the following months.

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