Teddy Bear News

Wilderness Bills from Virginia to New Mexico See Action
Author: teddygirl | Thursday August 16, 2007

The following is from the Campaign for America's Wilderness, an organization that is working to achieve lasting protection for threatened wild lands.

June saw the summer season blossom, ushering in the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy the splendid landscapes that we are united in seeing protected. Two developments were particularly exciting Legislation to protect Southwestern Virginia’s southern Appalachian Mountains made great strides, with approval by the House Natural Resources Committee, and a wilderness bill for the last Great Plains ecosystem in New Mexico was introduced in Congress.

The bipartisan Virginia Ridge and Valley Act of 2007, sponsored by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Senator John Warner (R-VA), gained approval from the full Natural Resources Committee on June 28. The bill would designate six new wilderness areas in the Jefferson National Forest, as well as expand existing wilderness and establish new national scenic areas.

The legislation faced a number of amendments offered by the panel’s minority, but easily won approval without change. The bill may now be considered by the House Agricultural Committee before moving to the full House of Representatives.

Earlier in the month, Rep. Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced legislation to give full wilderness protection to the Sabinosa Wilderness Study Area. Less than an hour’s drive east of Las Vegas, NM, surrounded by high plains,towering cliffs and deep canyons lies this ecologically diverse pinyon-juniper ecosystem. The scenic landscape and abundant wildlife provide excellent opportunities for hunting, hiking, and horsepackiing.

The Sabinosa Wilderness Act (H.R. 2632), now awaits a legislative hearing after being referred to the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands.

For more information, visit Campaign for America's Wilderness.

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