BLM Mulling More Than 12 'Crown Jewels' for Wilderness Designation

"The Interior Department is considering more than a dozen areas for Congress to designate as wilderness, the highest level of protection for public lands, according to interviews with several state Bureau of Land Management offices."

"But the total number and size of those wilderness areas will likely not be made public until Interior Secretary Ken Salazar submits a final report to Congress in mid-October, an agency spokeswoman said.

Among the areas considered ripe for new protections are more than 10,000 acres of wilderness study areas (WSA) near Helena, Mont., according to a BLM spokeswoman in the state.

The Sheep Creek and Sleeping Giant WSAs garnered the support of commissioners in Lewis and Clark County, said spokeswoman Mel Lloyd."

Phil Taylor reports for Greenwire September 7, 2011.

Source: Greenwire, 09/08/2011