Author Topic: Wilderness Update 110 th Congress  (Read 3394 times)

Offline Pantheus

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Wilderness Update 110 th Congress
« on: October 09, 2007, 10:38:12 PM »
As reported by John Stewart, CA4WDC Resources Consultant


Democratic control of both bodies of Congress means wilderness will be a much more active topic in the 110th Congress. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), the Chairmen of the House Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committees, are both supporters of wilderness designations.

There are numerous wilderness designation bills introduced each session of Congress. Some of the more significant examples in the 110th Congress include the following bills.

H.R. 1975, introduced by Rep. Maloney of New York. This legislation would designate roughly 15,000,000 acres of public land in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming as wilderness. The legislation was not supported by any members of Congress from Idaho, Wyoming or Montana and only six members from Washington and Oregon support the bill.

H.R. 1919/S. 1170, the "America's Red Rock Wilderness Act" would lock up millions of acres of land and would likely destroy the economy of rural Utah. In the 110th Congress these measures have acquired 147 House and 18 Senate cosponsors. The vast majority of cosponsors were from Eastern, non-public land states.

The Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act, H.R. 39, is sponsored by Reps. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Jim Ramstad (R-MN). No members of the Alaska delegation support this bill. The legislation would designate the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness thereby permanently eliminating access to the areas estimated 10 billion barrels of oil. This bill currently has 141 cosponsors in the House. Bills to allow limited energy development in this area have passed the House 10 times in previous Congressional sessions, but these measures have all been turned back by the Senate.

Rep. Diane DeGette announced last month that she will introduce the Colorado Wilderness Act of 2007, which would put 1.65 million acres of public land in Colorado, including the Roan Plateau, under the most stringent "hands-off" land policies our country can impose.

S. 493/H.R. 860, introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (CA) and Rep. Hilda Solis (CA-32), would lock up 2.4 million acres of public lands in California.

Click here for more about wilderness legislation pending before the 110th Congress


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