Victory! Obama Ends Bush-era 'No More Wilderness' Edict
In a big victory for conservation advocates across the country, the Obama administration on Thursday announced it would finally end President George W. Bush's damaging "No More Wilderness" order. Since 2003, the rule had banned the Interior Department's longstanding practice of protecting huge swaths of wilderness-quality backcountry.
Under Bush's "no more wilderness" rule, environmentalists said that more than 2.6 million acres of untouched lands were vulnerable to ruin from energy, mining and road development (these lands are only a small portion of the 245 million acres under the Bureau of Land Management's jurisdiction). Now, with the reversal of the policy, federal land managers will once again have the power to temporarily protect these valuable places until Congress can vote on whether to extend a permanent wilderness designation—the highest form of protection the government can give.
Utah Senator Orin Hatch made this rather interesting comment: "It is time for this administration to put the needs of Utahans and other Americans above those of a few radical special interest groups who want to make the nation's public lands their own personal playgrounds"
Meanwhile, above the 49th parallel, Canada's National Parks Agency is continuing to turn our own "protected wilderness" into radical special interest groups' playgrounds without a fair and democratic public process:
It is a sad state of society that feels that Nature on its own terms is just not exciting enough to enjoy. We have to add man-made technical features to enhance our next generations' interest in Nature and avoid collective growing boredom with it? The ongoing commercialization of our parks and wilderness by radical special interest groups of any kind is the beginning of the privatization of what was formerly a public trust. We need to remember that the USA's wilderness protection is only temporary measure at best. Wilderness and public land protection is a tentative thing.