Letter Supporting H.R. 1581, the “Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011"
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative McCarthy:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, strongly supports H.R. 1581, the “Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011,” which ensures that the American public would continue to enjoy access to public lands.
The Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act would ensure that over 40 million acres of public lands that have been determined to be unsuitable as wilderness areas are managed for the benefit of all people, rather than being restricted so the American public cannot use or enjoy them. The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service extensively studied these lands and concluded that they do not meet the requirements to be designated as wilderness areas. However, Congress did not act on the agencies’ recommendations. As a consequence, these
lands are currently managed as if they were wilderness areas, limiting public access for a variety
This legislation would direct that these lands be managed for multiple uses, which would include increased recreational opportunities, responsible resource development and better access to enhance firefighting and insect control capabilities. The bill would allow local land managers and surrounding communities to determine through the local land management planning process how these lands should be used.
The Chamber applauds you for introducing this legislation and for your continued leadership on this issue. We look forward to working with you to secure passage of this important legislation. Public lands belong to the people. The time for Congress to act and restore these lands for the use of the people is long overdue.
R. Bruce Josten
cc: Members of the United States Congress