Also sold out in the budget:

The Wild Lands Conspiracy Map


Remember how Democrats were supposed to have hung tough and not given into right wing policy whim? Turns out that not only are wolves and D.C. women getting the shaft, so are vast swaths of public land that could get protection as wilderness. Republicans defunded the BLM program. Ostensibly, its to promote oil drilling, but the “wilderness plan” also happens to be the latest right-wing conspiracy. “Wilderness policy” is the 2010’s black helicopters and FEMA.

The ostensible reason is oil development. “The longer this initiative has been out in the public, the more concerns I hear about the impact it will have on ranching, energy production, recreation and even the Bureau of Land Management’s own ability to manage their lands,” said Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, bragging that his work “defunds the ‘Wild Lands’ initiative.”

He’s the same guy who helped take the science out the endangered species act and de-list wolves. Wow, this guy sure directs a lot of national policy lately. Idaho’s 2nd district has been reliably conservative and held by Mormons since 1951. Yet even there only about 7,000 of its 695,000 people make a living through “extraction, maintenance, and repair occupations.”

The Western Energy Alliance was pleased. Their government-affairs director Kathleen Sgamma told the Denver Post that now the BLM couldn’t just stop any oil project on a caprice. I don’t recall that being an issue under the reign of cowboy Ken Salazar. So, I called the alliance to see where any lands were that any energy company wanted to develop that had been thwarted by recent wilderness designation. She said she was busy and would get back to me later today.

UPDATE: She wrote to give me two case studies on page 42 and 43 of this 2011 report and say that:

“Stewart Petroleum…has [a] project [that] has been held up by BLM from “de facto wilderness” protection.  This is but one example of unilateral BLM action to hold up a project in an area that has not been designated as wilderness by Congress or as a wilderness characteristics area (now called “wild lands” as of December) through a public land use planning process.  The second is Ewing Exploration, who’s project is being held up while BLM studies wilderness values in the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming.  Besides holding up leases from sale, as in the case of Ewing, BLM has also “deferred” or held up 25 leases previously sold at auction while they study wilderness in Wyoming.”


These a few examples to give you a flavor.  Happy to discuss at some other time, but I’m just swamped this week.


You don’t have to be an accountant to realize this has nothing to do with debt reduction. I don’t think it even has much to do with oil. I think it’s more about a big fear in western communities that the big federal government is going to kick them off their lands to create “wilderness.” Yes, I’m serious. On a trip out to New Mexico and Arizona this fall to learn about the Mexican Gray Wolf I got an earful on “The Wilderness Policy.” The citizens of Reserve, NM, which has a dwindling population, really believe that there’s a secret plan to remove humans from the land and push people to live in cities. “They want us to have to move to cities and have to use public transportation,” one college-educated woman told me in all seriousness.

Check out this video about the secret environmental conspiracy to turn most of the US into areas “off limits to humans” and “extinguishing the private property rights of citizens.”

Not surprisingly, Bill Clinton got the secret plan kicked off. Even though the Wilderness Act was passed in 1964 just to save whatever rugged land we had left. The actual act says that it’s “subject to existing private rights” and “nothing in this Act shall prevent within national forest wilderness areas any activity, including prospecting, for the purpose of gathering information about mineral or other resources…”

This is the kind of foolishness that is circulating in right wing circles. And scaring the bejesus out of rural Americans. And may just be shaping our national policy.






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