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Interior secretary says Obama may bypass Congress

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SAN FRANCISCO — Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says she will recommend that President Barack Obama act alone if necessary to create new national monuments and sidestep a gridlocked Congress that has failed to address dozens of public lands bills.

Jewell said the logjam on Capital Hill has created a conservation backlog, and she warned that the Obama administration would not “hold its breath forever” waiting for lawmakers to act. Congress has not added any acreage to the national park or wilderness systems since 2010. Jewell blamed ramped-up rhetoric in Washington for the impasse.

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