Senate Hearing on Bennett's Washington County Land Sale Bill Set for this Thursday
Senate Hearing on Bennett's Washington County Land Sale Bill Set for this Thursday Please Contact Your Senators Today!
In a last-ditch attempt to ram his unpopular Washington County Growth and Conservation Act through Congress, Senator Bob Bennett (R-UT) has scheduled a hearing on the legislation during the post-election lame duck session. The hearing will be on November 16 before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Bennett's bill (S 3636/H.R. 5769) is bad for public lands, bad for wilderness, bad for taxpayers and bad for local residents in the area around Zion National Park. Why? Because it:
Sells off no less than 38 square miles of BLM public land, even though the BLM itself has testified to Congress that it doesn't know if there is that much qualifying land in the area.
Requires that these public lands be sold for private development, even though the local Chamber of Commerce has said there are over 200,000 acres of private land still available for development.
Gives away rights-of-way on approximately 14 square miles of public land to county water developers at taxpayers' expense.
Denies wilderness protection for the overwhelming majority of wild lands in the county that would be protected under America's Redrock Wilderness Act (H.R. 1774/S.882).
Fails to protect nearly all of the proposed BLM wilderness in southwest Utah's Mojave Desert.
Creates a new mandate to funnel federal funding from public land sales away from conservation projects and into local interests and development projects like off-road vehicle trails, highways, pipelines, utility corridors and dams.
Opposition to this boondoggle is widespread. Members of Congress have received over 100,000 emails and letters from citizens around the country who oppose this giveaway.
Over 120 national, state, and local organizations and businesses have publicly opposed it. The New York Times, Salt Lake Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe and many other papers have editorialized against it.
But still, Senator Bennett is pressing ahead.
What can you do?
Contact your Senators before November 15 and ask them to oppose Bennett's Washington County boondoggle. For more information and an easy link to email your Senators go to http://www.zionmojavewilderness.org/ and click on the Take Action links to contact your Senators today.