Late in the evening on April 11, 2003, the Interior Department entered into a settlement agreement with former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt in which Bush Interior Secretary Norton committed to never again allow the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to designate Wilderness Study Areas on the public lands it manages. This agreement strips away special protections for millions of acres of pristine lands in Utah, leaving them vulnerable to development that could permanently disqualify them from future wilderness designation. This album shows some of the wild places now threatened by this short-sighted policy.
Specifically, the "No More Wilderness" settlement:
* Rescinds BLM authority to conduct wilderness inventories and establish new Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) in any state;
* Revokes the Wilderness Inventory Handbook, which guided BLM land managers in adequately inventorying and reviewing wilderness quality lands and their consideration for enhanced protection;
* Repudiates the comprehensive 1999 statewide BLM re-inventory of Utah's public lands, specifically barring the agency from using the information to designate new WSAs or protect the wilderness characteristics of wilderness quality lands.
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