Senate To Consider Major Public Lands Bill

Before Congress begins its July 4th recess, Senator Jeff Bingaman introduced S. 3213, a major lands bill. Over 900,000 acres of wild land in Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, Virginia, and West Virginia will be protected by the Chairman’s package of more than 90 titles, including more than a half dozen wilderness measures.

As the nation prepares to celebrate its founding, Senator Bingaman’s actions have great symbolism, said Mike Matz, executive director of Campaign for America’s Wilderness. It’s an appropriate gift on the country’s birthday to honor these places that are part of the original American dream, the place out of which we carved this nation and shaped our people.”

The lands package includes the following bipartisan wilderness measures:

  1. Protecting 13,700 acres of old-growth forest in Oregon’s Siskiyou National Forest with the Copper-Salmon Wilderness Act;

    More than 128,000 acres of national forest in Mount Hood are permanently protected by the Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness Act;

    This act protects 23,000 acres near the Soda Mountain region in southeastern Oregon;

    Idaho’s Owyhee-Bruneau Canyonlands will be protected as wilderness under the Owyhee Public Lands Management Act;

    Nearly 250,000 acres (94%) of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park will be protected under the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness and Indian Peaks Wilderness Expansion Act;

    Providing protection for 37,000 acres of wilderness in West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest through the Wild Monongahela Act;

    43,000 acres of Jefferson National Forest are protected as wilderness and 12,000 acres are protected as national scenic areas under the Virginia Ridge and Valley Wilderness and National Scenic Area Act.

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