Congress Readies Wilderness Bills for Approval

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee favorably reported eight wilderness bills recently, which together would protect special wild places to benefit local economies, enhance the quality of life for people living in nearby communities, safeguard clean air and crystalline water, and provide for hunting, fishing, camping, canoeing, and other popular activities.

"This Congress continues to build an impressive record of accomplishment on wilderness protection, much to the gratitude of constituents of every stripe, from Main Street businesses to county commissions, from teachers to ranchers," said Mike Matz, executive director of the Campaign for America's Wilderness.

Members of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands heard testimony on bills to protect land in Oregon and California.

"The action on both sides of Capitol Hill shows that Congress is intent on getting good things done yet this year," said Matz. Championed by Republicans and Democrats alike, these important conservation bills ensure that America's common ground in iconic places like Colorado's Dominguez Canyons; California's Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Mountains, Joshua Tree and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks; New Mexico's Sabinoso; Michigan's Pictured Rocks National Seashore; and Spring Basin and the Badlands in Oregon can be handed down to future generations."

Another seven wilderness bills are wrapped into an omnibus lands package, S. 3213, which should see action before adjournment.

"This Congress has the opportunity to leave a significant natural legacy to future generations," said Matz. "And our children and grandchildren will be the real winners."

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