Babbitt urges Obama to protect Western wilderness

Former Democratic Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt singled out a bill by Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador as he charged the new House majority with taking the “most radical course in our history” on the environment.

Labrador’s bill would remove the power of the president to designate and protect public lands in Idaho under the Antiquities Act of 1906. Babbitt said a House attempt earlier this year to “gut” the Antiquities Act failed by only four votes.

Babbitt called on President Barack Obama to stand up to Republicans against new environmental budget riders and to use the Antiquities Act to protect areas that have been proposed for wilderness but held up by “an intransigent few.” “The best way to defend the Antiquities Act is for the president to use it,” Babbitt said.

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