2 million acres to be cut from wilderness study

Interior Secretary James Watt is preparing to withdraw up to 2 million acres in the West from consideration as protected wilderness areas.

The department said it was excluding parcels of land in 10 states as being too small, too valuable, or too unmanageable to be part of the 24 million acres under study since 1976 for protection against development. Interior Department officials said the changes are based on an opinion by the agency's solicitor, William H. Coldiron, who said several categories of wild land under study do not meet technical and legal criteria for the study program.

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