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Republicans Mount A New Assault On Wild Lands

Three mad hatters--Steve Pearce (R-NM), Rob Bishop (R-UT), and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) are gathering--or trying to gather--cosponsors for what they're callling the Wilderness & Roadless Area Release Act, a law that would open national forest roadless areas and Bureau of Land Management wilderness study areas to development. This would put a bit more than 70 million of wild lands at risk.

Specifically, it would repeal the Roadless Area Conservation Rule and rescind Interior Secretarial Order 3310 issued by Secretary Ken Salazar last December that overturned a Bush era policy and reinstated BLM's wilderness study areas program.

All you need to know about this bludgeon you can get from reading the list of supporters on the Gang of Three's Dear Colleague letter sent March 29 to gather allies:

American Council of Snowmobile Associations, American Loggers Council, Independent Petroleum Association, Motorcycle Industry Council, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Rifle Association, United Four Wheel Drive Association and others of that ilk.

I have no idea if this is a serious threat, but it's one more distraction that could turn into a catastrophe.