Wild Sky Wilderness Bill Passes the House
Author: teddygirl | Tuesday June 19, 2007
The following is from the Campaign for America's Wilderness, an organization that is working to achieve lasting protection for threatened wild lands.
On April 17, 2007 in a victory for the millions of Americans who want to see our last wild places protected for future generations, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Wild Sky Wilderness Act of 2007 by a voice vote. HR 886 is a bipartisan, widely supported bill that seeks to protect over 106,000 pristine acres of forest, rivers, and streams. The Wild Sky bill is sponsored by Representative Rick Larsen (D-WA) in the House and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in the Senate, and aims to be the first wilderness bill to be signed into law during the 110th Congress.
The House vote was a historic benchmark for Wild Sky, as it has passed the Senate three times within the last five years but had never cleared the House. The seven-year effort to pass Wild Sky has been led by Representative Larsen, Senator Murray and a broad coalition of Washington State citizens, including hundreds of local elected officials, businesses, conservation groups, religious leaders and citizen organizations.
The 106,000 acres of national forest land is the focus of protection because of its nearly 80,000 acres of old growth forest and mature natural second growth forest. The Wild Sky Wilderness Act also seeks to protect 25 miles of salmon and steelhead trout spawning streams, as well as vital forest watersheds. Senate action is expected soon, and President Bush has indicated if the bill reaches his desk he will sign the act.
The need for protection of our wild public lands is the message Americans have sent to Congress. The House Natural Resources Committee has shown the American public that it intends to continue that trend. The passage of Wild Sky through the House of Representatives is a major step in preserving Washington’s public land as wilderness. The anticipated introduction of wilderness bills in Idaho, Colorado, and Arizona give conservationists hope that more of our public land will be forever protected for the use and enjoyment of future generations.
For more information, visit Campaign for America's Wilderness' website: http://www.leaveitwild.org