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BLM Wilderness Attack

Case Overview

In 2003, the Bush administration agreed to stop protecting millions of acres of potential wilderness. The agreement was the result of a suit by the state of Utah and others that was settled in secret. Conservation groups intervened, and are challenging the settlement in a very convoluted and drawn-out case.

Case Updates

January 12, 2006 | Reference

Unsettling Development

The Justice Department has abandoned its established role of defending federal laws & regulations. (Editorial from The Environmental Forum 1/1/04)

January 10, 2006 | Legal Document

Wilderness Inventory Ruling

Rules that the Bush administration violated FOIA by concealing documents related to a deal cut in secret that makes development possible on millions of acres of America’s last wild lands (Oct 8, 2004)

January 10, 2006 | Legal Document

Wilderness Inventory Complaint

Seeks to force the federal government to come clean on the backroom dealings with the State of Utah that led to a sweetheart settlement of a lawsuit by Utah challenging federal lands protections (June 2004)

January 10, 2006 | Legal Document

Wilderness Inventory Opening Brief

Challenging a settlement between the DOI and Utah that would wipe out the process whereby the BLM identifies which lands deserve wilderness protections, and protects them as ‘wilderness study areas' (April 5, 2003)

January 10, 2006 | Legal Document

Wilderness Inventory FOIA

Charges the DOI with illegally withholding documents concerning a deal struck in secret that prohibits government identification and protection of wilderness-quality lands on more than 150 million acres (August 27, 2003)