Murkowski Responds to Interior’s New Directive on Wild Lands Designations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following statement regarding Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision to abide by the prohibition, contained in the 2011 continuing budget resolution, on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) designating new public lands as “Wild Lands.”

“I appreciate Secretary Salazar’s commitment to me that the BLM will not pursue wild lands designations in Alaska,” Murkowski said. “Both the Senate and the House have been clear that Congress retains sole authority and responsibility to designate lands for inclusion in the National Wilderness System. That’s how I believe it should be and I will work to ensure that the current ban on creating wilderness – by any name – unilaterally by the administration is continued in the next budget resolution.”

Murkowski is the ranking member of both the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee.