'Wild Lands 2.0': Defeated Salazar Policy Resurrected in Back-Door BLM Move

The changes from that proposal to the new manuals are less than subtle.

For example, the section on wilderness inventory procedures in the Wild Lands manual reads, “The wilderness inventory process directive does not mean that the BLM must conduct a completely new inventory and disregard the inventory information that it already has for a particular area. Rather, the BLM must ensure that its current inventory is updated with appropriate information to conform to Secretary’s Order 3310 and this policy.”

The new BLM manual reads, “The wilderness inventory process directive does not mean that the BLM must conduct a completely new inventory and disregard the inventory information that it already has for a particular area. Rather, the BLM must ensure that its inventory is maintained.”

“I am troubled and angered by similarities found between the contents of the handbooks and the defunct Wild Lands proposal," Bishop said.

"It’s wrong, and the Interior Department needs to stop trying to keep the public off public lands,” Hatch said.

It wasn't the only time Salazar has been called out this week.

Barrasso and his Wyoming counterpart in the Senate, Mike Enzi (R), yesterday accused Salazar of throwing up more red tape to the construction of new port facilities in Oregon and Washington, which would export Powder River Basin coal to Asia.

On April 5, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested that the Army Corps of Engineers expand the environmental review and conduct a “broadly scoped cumulative impacts analysis” for an export facility at the Port of Morrow, Ore.

"We believe that the National Environmental Policy Act does not require these steps and that taking them would set a dangerous precedent for American exports," the senators wrote Salazar and Army Secretary John McHugh.

They noted that coal producers could export their product through Canada, but protested against ceding the jobs that the Pacific Northwest ports would bring.

In its request, the EPA cited coal dust and diesel pollution as "primary concerns," in addition to wildlife, aquatic resources, and cultural resources.

"While these concerns are not insignificant, they are routinely addressed under existing environmental review processes," Barrasso and Enzi wrote. "In no way do any of these concerns warrant significantly expanding the scope of or delaying the environmental review process for new port facilities. To the contrary, expanding the scope of or delaying the environmental review process for new port facilities would create uncertainty for ongoing and future exports of coal from the Powder River Basin as well as Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Kentucky, and West Virginia."

"...We find it deeply troubling that EPA is attempting to impose what is effectively a climate change litmus test on American exports."

The senators asked that the requests for the expanded environmental review be denied.

In announcing their fight against the environmental red tape, the senators quipped that the EPA is turning into the "Export Prevention Agency."