WASHINGTON -- Eighty-nine House members are asking Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to protect 9.4 million acres of red rocks lands in Utah while Congress works on legislation.
The letter was sent to Salazar on Tuesday. It also asks that he rescind an agreement reached between the Bush administration and the state of Utah that prevents the Bureau of Land Management from designating new wilderness study areas. The designation discourages uses of the land that might alter its natural character.
Rep. Maurice Hinchey, a New York Democrat sponsoring the Utah wilderness bill, says a consensus has developed that millions of acres within the states should be protected even if there remains disagreement on how to do that.
The bill is opposed by the Utah congressional delegation.