Salazar strikes back at critics of ‘wild lands’ policy, hopes for ‘common ground’

But Salazar noted that a slew of House Republicans have introduced bills in this Congress to protect areas in their states, including House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), who leads the Appropriations Committee panel that controls Interior’s spending.

“Wilderness is not a bad thing and they recognize it,” Salazar noted, and said there is a need to “tone down the rhetoric.”

“We in the United States have some very special places — they are not Republican places, they are not Democratic places, they are not independent places, they belong to all of us,” he said.

“I think we can find some common ground,” Salazar said.