Thursday, May 13, 2010

Appropriate Wilderness

Appropriate Wilderness -- Additional Wilderness Designations within Gold Butte

How is it that the managing agency of public lands that encompass Gold Butte finds, in a recommendation to congress that no lands are suitable for Wilderness yet our political representatives have given their support for creating vast amounts of new wilderness?

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is one of the federal agencies that are tasked with managing our public lands. Over time The BLM has worked to assess all lands managed by them to find areas that would be suitable for Wilderness by definition of the 1964 Wilderness Act. These would be areas recommended to congress that fit the definition of wilderness as outlined in public law 88-577 for the Wilderness designation. The Gold Butte region was part of this inventory.

As part of the CLARK COUNTY CONSERVATION OF PUBLIC LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES ACT OF 2002 (PL 107-282) Congress created two wilderness areas totaling just shy of 30,000 acres.

The BLM’s research and documentation did not show that any other areas within the roughly 350,000 acres of the Gold Butte region were suitable for wilderness. This was due to lack of wilderness characteristics. Some of these characteristics include naturalness, solitude, primitive and unconfined recreation, special features, and manageability.

In a quote from the Virgin Mountain Instant Study Area on naturalness, “The area does not appear natural due to mining related activities, access roads, ways, trails and extensive range improvements…These intrusions tend to dominate the area.”

These reports can be found by clicking the following links:

Recommended suitable: 0 Acres

Recommended suitable: 0 Acres

This is not to say that these areas are not beautiful or even magnificent, however they do NOT fit the definition of Wilderness as outlined by Congress.

However special interest groups continue enthusiastically to chip away at the West and persistently Bend the facts to fit THEIR theories and not their theories to the fit facts

We were assured after PL 107-282 was passed in 2002 that this was it. Yet here we are looking at a new proposal with an additional 130,000 acres of public lands managed by the BLM plus 90,000 acres of Park Service lands that surround much of Gold Butte for additional Wilderness in Nevada.

I am actually more pro wilderness than most would actually believe, however I only support its designation when it is supported with the appropriate characteristics, genuine conservation and common sense NOT dollars and cents.

I am going to have to spend more time researching SNPLMA and the MSHCP and see how they are funded and who and what projects they spend "their" money on.

I am also interested to see how the back room dealing of the Meadow Valley Wash and Bitter Springs proposal pans out?

These designations should be protections FOR me not FROM me.

There has been much talk about ‘appropriate access’ yet no one is asking about appropriate wilderness.