Politics of Wilderness - Bill to Protect Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) May Have Hope

The Lyin King

Public Lands Advocate
"U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, Denver, has introduced legislation called the Colorado Wilderness Act to protect these places and others in every session of Congress since 1999. In the partisan atmosphere of Congress, where Republicans often paint wilderness designation as a threat to people being able to use public lands, the bill, which would set aside more than 1 million acres, mostly on Bureau of Land Management land, has always failed.

That may change this session.

Wilderness-friendly Democrats now control both houses of Congress and the White House. This spring, they passed legislation that protected more than 300,000 new acres of wilderness in Colorado, creating protected areas in Rocky Mountain National Park and Dominguez Canyon near Grand Junction. It was the first wilderness designation since 2002.

"The whole dynamic has changed," said Kristofer Eisenla, a spokesman for DeGette. "Whereas under the Republican leadership this bill got nowhere, there is really momentum now. We are optimistic this bill can move forward."

Read more here . . . Politics of wilderness; bill to protect study areas may have hope | Campaign for America's Wilderness

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