Obama administration reverses Bush wilderness policy

The Obama administration has restored U.S. land managers' powers to curb development on vast tracts of America's back country, undoing what conservation groups called a "no more wilderness" policy put in place under President George W. Bush. U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced on Thursday that the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will again have the authority to set aside large areas of federally owned territory in the West that it deems deserving of wilderness protection. It would still be up to Congress to decide whether to grant those areas formal wilderness status, putting them permanently off-limits to energy development and other commercial uses.
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