What's at Stake
Earthjustice beat back an attempt by BLM and the state of Utah to open permanently open vast tracts of wilderness-quality lands in Utah to development and to strip the government of its ability to protect these pristine areas.
In 2003, the Bush administration agreed to permanently 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 managed to preserve Bureau of Land Management’s ability to protect these areas.
The court and the BLM have agreed that the wilderness-quality lands can be protected, but they may not be called “wilderness study areas,” as they had been prior to the settlement.