Wyoming County Commissioners Association oppose 3310
BLM ‘Wild Lands’ Secretarial Order creating de facto wilderness
by Pinedale Online!
January 25, 2011
The Wyoming County Commissioners’ Association (WCCA) passed a resolution strongly opposing the Department of Interior Secretarial Order 3310, a new "Wild Lands" management designation which orders the BLM to identify and manage land with wilderness characteristics as wilderness. The WCCA passed the resolution on January 19, 2011. The Wyoming County Commissioners' Association (WCCA) is an organization consisting of the Boards of County Commissioners of all twenty-three counties in Wyoming.
The WCCA resolution says "Secretarial Order 3310 purports to create new wilderness areas on public lands when that authority rests exclusively with the Congress of the United States."
Once the BLM designates a "Wild Lands" area, it will be managed as wilderness, which means only the "public purposes of recreational, scenic, scientific, educational, conservation, and historical use." The Wilderness Act (16 U.S. C. 1131-1136) states "there shall be no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any such area." For recreationists, this prohibits bicycles, motorcycles, ATVs and snowmachines, while wheelchairs are allowed.
The designation still allows gas and oil drilling on BLM lands where such activities are deemed appropriate.
The WCCA resolution says revenue generated from energy leases on public lands supports important state and local government programs for education, wildlife management and infrastructure and the reduction or loss of such revenues could be devastating to the State. The statement says the "Wild Lands" designation will add an unnecessary layer of restriction on multiple use on federal lands which are important for energy initiatives and related transmission facilities.
The WCCA said existing land use designations and the current and historical management practices have been more than adequate to maintain existing naturalness and solitude through the protection of scenic vistas and SO 3310 is inconsistent with many local land use plans.
The WCCA requests the Western Governors Association and The Western Interstate Region of NACO collaborate to form a multi-state coalition of local governments to address the impacts of SO 3310 on Bureau of Land Management Lands.
Click on this link to read the WCCA Resolution (PDF).