Efforts to Close Off Gila Forest Opposed

Newsnm note - (Spence) A huge rally in Silver City is scheduled for Saturday March 5th. Those planning to attend will protest a unilateral decision by government bureaucrats to close 97 percent of the Gila National Forest. Now eyes are turning to Washington D.C. as campers and backpackers seek help from elected officials against a faceless and unresponsive  bureaucracy. It would appear that while NM Reps Heinrich and Lujan and Senators Bingaman and Udall look the other way, Congressman Steve Pearce is leading the charge against the latest land grab by big government. 
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Stevan Pearce (R-NM) released the following statement regarding the House Natural Resources Committee’s oversight hearing on “The Impact of the Administration’s Wild Lands Order on Jobs and Economic Growth:” “I applaud the committee for exercising vigorous oversight of the Obama Administration’s attempt to circumvent Congress’ statutory authority in order to create de facto Wilderness areas. It is clear this Administration is committed to its war on western jobs by any means. “The actions taken by Interior Secretary Salazar on behalf of the Obama Administration will have a devastating impact on jobs and American energy production in western states if it is implemented. It is time for the Obama Administration to start focusing on creating jobs and producing American energy,” said Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Steve Pearce.
Steve Pearce
The Wild Lands policy, established by Secretarial Order 3310, asserts that the Bureau of Land Management has the authority to “designate appropriate areas with wilderness characteristics under its jurisdiction as ‘Wild Lands’ and to manage them to protect their wilderness value.” The Wilderness Act of 1964 gives Congress the sole authority to designate public lands as Wilderness areas. The Wilderness designation is the most restrictive land use policy that can be taken as it places severe limitations on public access to public lands. In addition to the impacts on jobs and the economy, many forms of popular recreation and access could be prohibited.



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