Press Releases

Senator Lee calls on Secretary Salazar for disclosure of key documents, meeting

A new Department of Interior policy may hinder economic growth for Utah economy

Jan 06 2011

WASHINGTON, DC—Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) today sent a letter to Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to request that all communications relating to Secretarial Order 3310 be disclosed to the public. The Senator also asked for a personal meeting to discuss this major policy that will detrimentally impact Utah communities.

“The policies set forth by Secretary Salazar will increase uncertainty for Utah businesses that involve federal lands, and also hinder energy production at a time when developing domestic energy sources is so critical,” said Senator Lee. “This order will result in lost jobs, investment and revenues at a time when we can least afford it. I will not sit idly by while the federal government puts a chokehold on our most valuable resources.”

The order allows the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to designate areas with wilderness characteristics as “Wild Lands” and to retain their wilderness characteristics. This designation imposes the most restrictive land use policies available, placing severe limitations on public access, inhibiting energy producing activities, and forbidding motorized and mechanized recreation.

In addition to the negative impact this policy will have on Utah’s economy, Interior’s action undercuts previous assurances given to Utah’s elected officials.

“Simply relabeling these lands as ‘Wild Lands’ seems to be a game of semantics,” said Senator Lee, “and is an unacceptable departure from Secretary Salazar’s previous assurances.”