On Tuesday, 2/23, the House Rules Committee passed the Protect America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act, HR 803, on to the floor of the House of Representatives, through an agreement on both sides. Many of the anti-wilderness amendments that would have weakened HR 803 were not included, but some remain.
Thank you for your overwhelming response to our earlier alert. Your help is again urgently needed to defeat the remaining anti-wilderness amendments. Additionally, there is a good amendment to support which adds lands to the Rough Mountain and Rich Hole Wildernesses in Virginia, and creates a potential wilderness adjacent to Rich Hole.
The bill may be heard by the full House of Representatives as early as tomorrow, 2/26, so please take action now!
The bill, a package consisting of new wilderness designations in California, Colorado, and Washington, passed the House in the previous Congress, but did not pass the Senate. Some of the bills that make up the package have wilderness-damaging provisions and we intend to try to address those in the Senate. The House Rules Committee has bundled together the large package again this year, along with a number of amendments which would weaken wilderness protections in a variety of ways.
Please contact your Representative ASAP to urge support for Amendment #49 to add more Wilderness in Virginia, and to defeat all the bad anti-wilderness amendments proposed to HR 803.
Here are some of the remaining bad anti-wilderness amendments:
Moore #5: Declares that no wilderness or potential wilderness designation under this Act shall be effective in any county where the county has not formally approved such designation.
Stauber #10: Requires approval of local counties before mineral withdrawal can take place.
Stauber #11: States that this Act shall not apply to any lands or waters in Colorado's Third and Fifth Congressional Districts or any lands, waters, or minerals in Arizona's Fourth Congressional District.
Stauber #12: States that this Act shall not apply to any lands or waters in Colorado's Third Congressional District.
Westerman #45: Allows the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior to exempt any wilderness or potential wilderness designated under this Act that does not meet the definition of wilderness under the Wilderness Act.
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