Letter to the Editor: Commissioner responds

Dear Editor:
This letter is in response to a letter concerning H.R. 1581, the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act.Let me start by talking about wilderness areas. Wilderness areas are authorized by Congress under a set of specific guidelines (please see Wilderness Act 1964 sec 2c definition). To start the designation process an area is studied to determine if it meets the criteria or not. If it meets the criteria it can be designated as a wilderness area by Congress, which we all can agree may be beneficial. If the land does not meet the criteria it sits in limbo and cannot be used for multiple uses. We have several parcels of land that have never been found to meet the criteria and need to be released from the study but there is currently no way to release them. H.R. 1581 helps us accomplish this. The bill is designed to require the Department of Interior to abide by the set of rules (FLMA) that have been set forth for them to operate under. H.R. 1581 does not take out any wildness areas that have been designated by Congress, only the study areas that do not meet the requirements. Please research H.R. 1581 to form your own opinion. Our public lands are supposed to be for multiple use (agriculture, recreation, mining, logging, natural resources, renewable energy, wildlife, wilderness, etc.).  All are supposed to have equal consideration.
Thank you,
Shawn Bolton
Meeker