The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has issued new guidelines for how it will involve tribal governments and others in the designation and management of public wild lands.
BLM’s mission includes conservation of cultural, historical and natural resources on public lands, including wild lands and wilderness.
Secretarial Order 3310 directs that “Wild Lands” will be designated through a public process, BLM will maintain a current inventory of public lands with wilderness characteristics, and the lands will be managed to protect those wilderness characteristics.
BLM’s wilderness inventory handbook was revoked in 2003 as a result of an out-of-court settlement between then-Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, the State of Utah, and other parties.
BLM Director Bob Abbey said of the new guidelines: “The Wild Lands policy describes the open process for taking a good look at these lands and hearing from the public, states, local officials, and tribes on how they should be used to meet our multiple-use mission responsibilities. This is a common-sense approach that also makes sound economic sense. Last year, hunting, fishing, and other recreational uses of BLM lands generated $77.4 billion for local economies throughout the West.”