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Washington, DC 20240
July 15, 2011
In Reply Refer To:
6300 (170) P         
Instruction Memorandum No. 2011-147       
Expires: 9/30/2012
To:                  State Directors
From:              Director
Subject:          Identification of Areas with Broad Public Support for Possible Congressional Designation as Wilderness                                                              DD:  9/1/2011
Program Area:  Wilderness Resources Management
Purpose: To request that State Directors identify areas of public lands within their States that have strong local support for permanent protection under the Wilderness Act. This Instruction Memorandum (IM) implements in part the June 1 memorandum from Secretary Salazar to BLM Director Bob Abbey regarding wilderness policy. 

Policy/Action: State Directors will identify “crown jewel” BLM-managed areas that have broad support for Congressional designation under the Wilderness Act. Only those areas that are manageable as wilderness and have strong BLM Field Office and State Office support for wilderness designation should be identified. Consistent with the Secretary’s June 1, 2011, memorandum, State Directors should solicit input on potentially appropriate areas from State and local officials, tribes, and Federal land managers. Attached is a draft letter which each State Director should use in order to solicit that input.

Identified areas may include, but are not limited to, wilderness study areas, lands that have been documented as having wilderness characteristics through the maintenance of the Bureau’s wilderness characteristics inventory, and areas for which designating legislation has been introduced into Congress.  

These areas will be reported to the Director using the attached form by September 1, 2011. If no appropriate areas are identified in a particular State, the State Director should submit a memorandum to this effect by September 1, 2011.
Timeframe: Effective Immediately
Budget Impact: None
Background: On June 1, 2011, the Secretary issued a memorandum to the BLM Director in part directing the Department of the Interior to solicit input and develop a report to Congress on areas that may be appropriate candidates for congressional protection under the Wilderness Act.  On June 10, the Secretary sent a letter to members of Congress requesting that they “identify BLM-managed public lands where there is strong support in the local community and among elected officials for permanent protection and that [they] believe are ready for designation as Wilderness by this Congress.”  This IM continues the implementation of the Secretary’s memorandum by requesting that BLM State Directors identify areas within their States that have broad support for Congressional designation under the Wilderness Act.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None. 
Coordination: This IM has been coordinated with WO-200, WO-300 and WO-600.
Contact: Direct questions regarding this IM to Carl Rountree, Director, National Landscape Conservation System at (202) 208-3516, or Dave Harmon, Wilderness Lead, (202) 912-7177.
Signed by:                                            Authenticated by:
Robert V. Abbey                                   Robert M. Williams
Director                                                Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
3 Attachments

Last updated: 07-19-2011