This week Wilderness Watch staff will be in Washington, D.C. to educate and urge members of Congress to take action to protect Wilderness. There are bad bills to be fought, but there are also many actions Congress can take now to better secure our Wilderness System.
One of the first major acts Congress will likely deal with is the public lands “omnibus” bill that didn’t pass last year. The bill has many good provisions, but it also has several that could significantly harm parts or all of our National Wilderness Preservation System.
To assist with our efforts with Congress, please urge your senators and representative to remove the following provisions from S. 47, the Public Lands Omnibus Bill:
• Permanent Fixed Climbing Anchors in Emery County, Utah. This section’s precedent-setting language allowing unlawful permanent fixed anchors in Wilderness should be removed. The Wilderness Act prohibits such installations.
• Smith Gulch Lodge Development in Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho. Rather than allow further private development in the heart of the River of No Return, the unlawfully constructed Smith Gulch Lodge should be removed from the Wilderness and the site restored.
• Paragliding language in Wilderness in the Organ Mountains of New Mexico. This section’s precedent-setting language allowing paragliding, a form of mechanized transport, should be removed. The Wilderness Act prohibits such mechanized transport.
• Owyhee Wilderness Boundary Reductions in Idaho. The proposed boundary Owyhee Wilderness boundary reductions should be eliminated since they would remove over 600 acres from the Owyhee River Wilderness, open a mile-long old vehicle route to motorized travel, and extend a cherry-stem road nearly a nearly a mile farther into the North Fork Owyhee Wilderness.
We also urge you to ask your senators and representative to support efforts to remove livestock from Wilderness.
Livestock grazing is one of the most destructive activities affecting the National Wilderness Preservation System. More than 10 million acres of Wilderness are directly impacted year after year by livestock, and another three million acres could be damaged if managers open currently “vacant” areas to grazing. Wilderness Watch will be urging Members of Congress to support efforts to eliminate livestock grazing in Wilderness by keeping vacant allotments closed and by providing a means to retire existing grazing permits.
Thank you for taking action by contacting your members of Congress and providing important back-up as Wilderness Watch is in Washington to help keep America’s National Wilderness Preservation System wild!
There are no officials for you to contact on Twitter.