Congress to Consider Amendment to Stop Public Lands Giveaway

As the Bush administration is heading out the door, it continues to try to give away our cherished public lands. Here's what's happening, and what you can do to help:

This Friday, June 15th, the House of Representatives will be voting on the annual spending bill for the Interior Department and its Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM is the agency responsible for the management of lands proposed for wilderness protection in America's Red Rock Wilderness Act.

Redrock champion Maurice Hinchey successfully inserted language from the Interior appropriations committee which directs the BLM not to lease for oil and gas in wilderness-quality lands if less sensitive land is available, or if there are lands where drilling has already been approved but not yet fully developed.

Representative Mark Udall (D-CO) is expected to offer an amendment to the bill which would stop the Bush administration's policies that could give away hiking trails, cow paths, dirt tracks and other routes in National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, wilderness, and other sensitive public lands. Under the Bush policies, the BLM would make administrative determinations to hand over these trails and routes  to states and counties as "RS 2477 rights-of-way," and allow counties to develop and maintain them as roads. The Udall amendment would prevent the Bush administration from implementing these policies.

We need your help on this one! Please contact your representative in the House, and ask them to vote "YES" on Representative Mark Udall's RS 2477 amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill.

Follow this link to find your member of Congress.




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