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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 02:09 PM
Original message
U.S. House passes massive wilderness bill
Source: Salt Lake Tribune

WASHINGTON The House signed off Wednesday on legislation that protects more than a quarter-million acres of Utah's red rock country, allows St. George to expand and curbs an often-contentious battle between developers and environmentalists.

The Washington County lands bill was just one of about 170 conservation proposals rolled into a huge package that gained final congressional approval on a vote of 285 to 140. Utah's Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson voted for the measure and GOP Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz opposed it.

The package designates more than 2 million acres in nine states as wilderness, the largest expansion of wilderness protection in 25 years. It included a number of Utah-specific proposals, but none with more impact than the Washington County bill sponsored by Matheson and Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah.

.....

"When you create more wild and scenic areas in the West, you make it much more difficult for us to fund our education system," Bishop said, raising his voice on the floor.

.....

The final version protects three times the original amount and drops the acres that can be sold from 25,000 to about 5,000. Any money the government receives from the land sales to developers must be spent on protecting other sensitive lands.

Read more: http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_11993582
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ellie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. WTF?
"When you create more wild and scenic areas in the West, you make it much more difficult for us to fund our education system," Bishop said, raising his voice on the floor.

What a douchebag. As if building roads in wilderness areas is free or something. God I hate repukes.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Republicans: 'It would block access to tens of millions of acres of natural gas and oil reserves.'
:nopity: BOO HOO, you whining environmental rapists.



March 25 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. House passed a conservation plan that will set aside more than 2 million acres of natural wilderness, monuments, trails and rivers.

The Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, approved today 285-140, goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. The measure combines more than 160 environmental bills in 1,294 pages to conserve water and protect 1,000 miles of scenic rivers. It would block mining and drilling on millions of acres of land.

This legislation is good for the land, and good for our children and our grandchildren, said Representative Raul Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat. The bill cleared the Senate last week.

The measure authorizes up to $10 billion in spending for wildlife and land protection. It would add 2 million acres in eight states to the National Wilderness Preservation System, which currently has 10 million acres in 44 states.

Environmental groups, including the Wilderness Society, supported the plan. Republican opponents said it would block access to tens of millions of acres of natural gas and oil reserves.

.....



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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. The House also rejected a Republican amendment for concealed carry in nat'l parks.
These people never quit trying to steal and murder.


The House today rejected an amendment from Representative Doc Hastings, a Washington Republican, to allow people to carry concealed weapons into national parks. The provision would have reversed an Interior Department firearms policy.

Bloomberg
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leftyclimber Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. Fine by me. nt
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leftyclimber Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. Payments in lieu of taxes is what I think he's talking about.
Edited on Wed Mar-25-09 06:12 PM by leftyclimber
A lot of timber-dependent regions used to rely on the federal government giving them payments on timber receipts in lieu of the property taxes they would have collected if the land were private. This money, in turn, largely went toward public school funding.

The * admin pretty much cut PILTs to nothing at all, although they'd been dwindling previous to that. The loss of PILT money to rural communities was the supposed rationale for the Forest Service land selloff a couple years ago, although it was pretty transparent that (a) it was just a big-ass privatization scheme that for the most part was used to cash in on some prime real estate and (b) it was a stupid idea if the stated reason were actually the case, because a one-time payout doesn't solve a long term problem.

Funding for rural schools in formerly timber-dependent communities is something we should be working on, for one altruistic reason and one non-altruistic. The altruistic reason is because rural kids deserve good school systems, too. The non-altruistic reason is that it would earn us votes in future elections.

Edit: missing letter "t"

(PS You can't build roads in federally designated Wilderness. Not sure if that was what you intended in your last sentence or if I misunderstood.)
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
2. When you chop down all the trees
You make it impossible to fund an education system.

Trees don't grow as fast as kids do.

Dumbasses.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. their arguments are so weak and dumb
lack of education really does create Republicans... no wonder they want to defund it so much. Their arguments are incredibly stupid and twisted...
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GreenTea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
4. Fucking corporate republican whores oppose it...then talk about funding education which they always
Edited on Wed Mar-25-09 02:39 PM by GreenTea
oppose, but the corporate whores will use education funding which they despise, when it's convenient for them to use in an argument opposing the saving & preserving of the environment....

Don't you just want to bitch-slap these lying, selfish, duplicit, greedy republicans?
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denbot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
6. This bill is quite flawed..
It prevents use of existing roads in designated wilderness areas. It bars rockhounding in these newly created areas without approval from a district BLM manager. It puts to great a burden on small miners, like the turquoise guy I'm going to see this coming weekend. There are a couple of turquoise claims available but I don't think I can now eek out the necessary funds to get it going. Not all mines, access, and area closures are desirable.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Interesting...
Is BLM approval very difficult for small business owners to get?
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denbot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. It's easier for a large corporation with lawyers, and administration assistants
Edited on Wed Mar-25-09 03:06 PM by denbot
To get through the necessary paper work. This doesn't phase a Newmount Mining Co., but it might kill a Denbot turquoise mining co.. There are fees, and in the time it takes to get the paper together you have to move tons of material, assay what mineral you have recovered and pay fees on it. I just want a source of turquoise for my jewelry..
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Hayduke Lives Donating Member (102 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. You don't understand the concept of Wilderness, do you?
Go read some Aldo Leopold or John Muir...I'm certain they would shed some light on the subject.

The federal designation of "Wilderness" is meant to preserve wild ecosystems in their natural state. It is not intended for the benefit of human commercial activity. Roads are incompatible with wilderness. Mining is incompatible with wilderness. The only loophole in the federal Wilderness Act is the exemption for range lice (cattle). This loophole only made it into the law because the welfare ranchers were a powerful lobby back in 1964 when the Act was passed (and sadly, they still are).

The fact that a few small miners will lose their claims is a small price to pay for the intrinsic benefit of more wild country. There are other places to find rocks - and besides, it's the PUBLIC's land...not the miners. Mining "claims" are a dodgy concept to begin with, considering the fact that the public gets nothing in return...save for degradation of their land. See Mining Act of 1872. (I know not all mining/miners are the same, but by in large, we get the shaft from most commercial extraction on public land.)

Wilderness needs no defense, only more defenders
- Edward Abbey
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Hey! An Aldo Leopold reader!
There's a guy who left behind one spectacular last thing: A Sand County Almanac is a wonderful read, particularly considering the time in which it appeared.

I don't know why, but the concept of a "wilderness" seems to be a very difficult thing for people to grasp. In my neck of the woods, people are complaining about a wilderness area which--gasp!--catches fire nearly every year, as untended forests tend to do, and hosts critters which are neither cute nor good with children. At the same time, others complain that the paths have washed out and have not been rebuilt since the area was declared a wilderness area, nor is the river stocked with trout stupid enough to bite a salmon egg. It seems nobody is satisfied with the idea of leaving the place alone, and trying not to go there.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. Good. Wilderness. Leave it the fuck alone. n/t
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
7. What a pity Mr Bishop doesn't realize that
creating a wilderness area like this is funding their education system. I guess his definition of education is creating a new generation of drillers and developers.
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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-26-09 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
16. Isn't it great to have adults in control agian?
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