4:36 PM EDT
Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. I thank the gentlelady for yielding.

I'm glad the gentleman brought up Secretarial order 3310 because that's what we're talking about here.

Now the first sentence under section one, Purpose, it says: The Secretarial order affirms the protection of wilderness characteristics. Nobody is arguing about that at all. Then you go to page 2 of the Secretarial order, section 4, Policy, and it goes on through the process of inventorying and so forth.

And the last sentence is the problem where we have our heartburn. It says: ``Where the BLM concludes that protection of wilderness characteristics''--which nobody argues about--``is appropriate, the BLM shall designate these lands as `Wild Lands.' ''

Now that is a made-up definition. Nobody argues about the inventory part, but now all of a sudden they're superseding and suggesting that there should be a new designation called wild lands. That is what the problem is. They have no authority to do that. And they affirmed that, by the way, in testimony in front of our committee. This part of the Interior bill simply says we're not going to fund that. And until the Secretarial order is withdrawn--this one here that says wild lands--once this is

withdrawn, you're right, there's no issue. But it hasn't been withdrawn. That's why that language needs to stay in there. It's nothing more complicated than that.

I thank the gentlelady for yielding.