Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bill would designate 23M acres of wilderness

The Casper Star-Tribune reports:

A New York congresswoman has again introduced a wide-reaching wilderness protection bill that would ban logging, oil exploration and other development on 23 million acres across five Northwestern states. No member of Congress from any of the five states has agreed to co-sponsor the bill, which Maloney has pushed in Congress since 1993. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., is a co-sponsor of the latest version. The bill would create 9.5 million acres of new wilderness in Idaho, 7 million acres in Montana, 5 million acres in Wyoming, 750,000 acres in northeastern Oregon and 500,000 acres in eastern Washington. Maloney, who represents New York City, said the bill would protect some of America's most beautiful and ecologically important lands while saving money and creating jobs. It calls for the removal of more than 6,000 miles of existing roads, primarily within national forests. Old logging roads would be removed, and habitat restored in most of those areas, creating about 2,300 jobs and leading to a more sustainable economic base in the region, said Michael Garrity, executive director of the Montana-based Alliance for the Wild Rockies, an advocacy group. A significant number of Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, spoke favorably of the bill in 2007, and even more lawmakers from both parties are likely to back the bill this year, Garrity said...

Mr. Garrity, wilderness areas are by law ROADLESS. If there are "6,000 miles of existing roads" then these areas don't qualify as wilderness. This is another example of environmentalists and their friends in Congress trying to manufacture wilderness and corrupt the original wilderness concept.

Congresswoman Mahoney, the State of New York contains just under 35 million acres. Is it your contention that none of this is "beautiful" or "ecologically important"? That must be the case since you have not included one single acre of NY in your legislation. None of this land should be acquired and designated wilderness? Surely the livestock producers, sportsmen, mountain bikers, snowmobilers and other motorized recreationists in NY are as deserving of being shut out as their counterparts in the West. Shame on you for denying New Yorkers this wilderness experience.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Garrity is not talking about removing roads from designated Wilderness(You are right, there are no roads there). He is talking about roads on other forest service lands. Whether you agree with the parts of the bill about new Wilderness, a lot of those roads are supposedly closed but not removed and pose water quality issues.