NFRIA-WSERC Conservation Center joined over 60 local and national groups asking Congress to take action to protect America's dwindling wilderness this year. The coalition sent a letter warning that time is running out for over two dozen wilderness bills, including the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act.
The 112th Congress has been the most anti-wilderness Congress in history, blocking any wilderness legislation from getting to the House floor. And if the U.S. House of Representatives stays on its current course, this will be the first Congress since 1966 to not protect a single acre of wilderness.
"Protecting wilderness goes hand-in-hand with strengthening local economies, protecting our clean water, and enhancing community well-being," said Sarah Sauter, executive director of the Conservation Center. "We cannot let the 112th Congress be the first in over 50 years to overlook something as important as America's wilderness legacy."
The letter states, "Nearly 50 years ago, the Wilderness Act passed the House with one dissenting vote and passed the Senate 73–12. Protecting our dwindling patches of truly wild areas always gets bipartisan support at the local level — and it used to get bipartisan support in Washington as well. It is not too late to redeem this legacy."
The Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act is a good example here in Colorado of how federally designated wilderness can permanently protect water resources. Introduced by Sen. Michael Bennet and cosponsored by Sen. Mark Udall, this legislation would protect more than 100,000 acres of incredible wildlife habitat and a recreation haven for hikers, mountain bikers and sportsmen. It would also conserve 37,000 acres of the Hermosa Creek Watershed as wilderness, protecting a tributary to the Animas, which provides thousands of Coloradans and New Mexicans with clean drinking water.
For a complete list of 27 stalled wilderness bills go to http://wilderness.org/article/pending-wilderness-bills.blog comments powered by Disqus