See press release below or on the UFWDA web site.
Date: January 15, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT GERALDINE GRADY – 804-381-1153
The Senate today passed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act in a 73-21 vote. In spite of a concerted effort by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., to stop passage during the Congressional lame duck session at the end of 2008, the bill’s sponsors vowed to keep it moving during the current 111th Congress.
The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 is a collection of roughly 160 public land bills that were reported from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The legislation designates about 2 million acres in nine states as wilderness, in addition to scenic rivers, historic sites and expansions of national parks. It provides the government's highest level of protection on land such as:
• 517,000 acres of wilderness in Idaho’s Owyhee-Bruneau Canyonlands
• 256,000 acres of wilderness in Washington County, Utah, including in Zion National Park
• Almost 250,0000 wilderness acres in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado
• 128,000 acres of wilderness around Mt. Hood in Oregon
• 53,000 acres of wilderness in Jefferson National Forest in Virginia
"I am happy that after months of delay we will finally be moving forward," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
"I am disappointed the Senate majority leader has refused to allow senators the opportunity to improve, amend or eliminate any of the questionable provisions in his omnibus lands bill," Coburn told fellow senators.
Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., the bill’s sponsor, said many of the underlying bills were the result of a “lengthy public process” that allowed local jurisdictions to reach consensus on land use. “Many of the bills in this package resolve major land and water policy issues that have been contested for years, and in some cases for decades,” he said. “I can’t think of a single bill that has ever done more to ensure the enjoyment of, and access to, wilderness areas, historical sites, national parks, forests, trails and scenic rivers. In addition, this bipartisan bill will help protect America’s greatest liquid asset, its water resources. Collectively, this is one of the most sweeping conservation laws the Senate has considered in many, many years.”
The bill now goes to the House. UFWDA will closely monitor the bill’s progress.
To read the legislation and learn more about its impact, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/thomas
# # #
United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) is the leading representative for four wheel drive enthusiasts. UFWDA is a group of individuals, clubs, state, regional, provincial and national associations and businesses in the United States and around the world; our members span the globe from the U.S. and Canada, New Zealand, Australia, England, Japan, South Africa, and Iceland. If you would like more information on how you can be a part of this effort contact United Four Wheel Drive Associations today at 14525 SW Millikan Way #22622, Beaverton, OR 97005-2343, 1-800-448-3932 or visit www.ufwda.org