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Presidential Authority Over Wilderness Areas Under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976

Headnotes: 

Under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), the President is required to forward to the Congress his recommendations with respect to federal lands studied by the Bureau of Land Management for possible designation as wilderness. He has no authority to refuse to make recommendations for areas he believes unsuitable for wilderness designation, or to return such lands to multiple use management without congressional action upon his recommendation. Under the FLPMA, as under the Wilderness Act of 1964, only Congress has authority to determine whether an area should or should not be designated as wilderness.

Updated July 9, 2014