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ALERT: House subcommittee hearing on the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (HR1975)

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SAWS Action Alert

Comment Deadline: Wednesday October 17, 2007

We informed our members about HR1975 in February 2007. We have also sent out information to our members regarding this proposal in prior years under the various names and different bill numbers that the proposal has held.

HR1975 is the grand daddy of all wilderness bills. This bill, if it were to pass in the House and Senate and was also signed by the President, would implement portions of the "Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative" of "The Wildlands Project", and it would designate approximately 20.5 million MORE acres as wilderness in the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

This bill currently has 115 co-sponsors in the House. Ten of those co-sponsors are democrats that are also members of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands (refer to the subcommittee member names below in bold), which will be holding the referenced hearing. Recall that the democrats are currently in control of the House during this 110th Congress.

Is there enough support among the subcommittee members to promote this bill out of this subcommittee for a larger House vote? I certainly hope not, but since we don't know for sure, we need you to act on this alert ASAP.

http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/index.php?option=com_jcalpro&Itemid=27&extmode=view&extid=111

The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, led by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), will hold a legislative hearing on the following bill:

H.R. 1975: To designate certain National Forest System lands and public lands under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior in the States of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming as wilderness, wild and scenic rivers, wildland recovery areas, and biological connecting corridors, and for other purposes.(Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act)

When: Thursday, October 18, 2007, at 10:00 a.m.

Where: Room 1324

Dale E. Kildee, Michigan
Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii
Donna M. Christensen, Virgin Islands
Rush D. Holt, New Jersey
Dan Boren, Oklahoma
John P. Sarbanes, Maryland
Peter M. DeFazio, Oregon
Maurice D. Hinchey, New York
Ron Kind, Wisconsin
Lois Capps, California
Jay Inslee, Washington
Mark Udall, Colorado
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, South Dakota
Heath Shuler, North Carolina
Nick J. Rahall, II, West Virginia (ex officio)
John J. Duncan, Jr., Tennessee
Chris Cannon, Utah
Thomas G. Tancredo, Colorado
Jeff Flake, Arizona
Stevan Pearce, New Mexico
Henry E. Brown, Jr., South Carolina
Louie Gohmert, Texas
Tom Cole, Oklahoma
Dean Heller, Nevada
Bill Sali, Idaho
Doug Lamborn, Colorado
Don Young, A

Kevin McCarthy, California

The hearing will be webcast live on the Committee's Web site at:
http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/

Requested Action:

SAWS requests that you write a short and polite letter (email), or make a phone call if your prefer, requesting that your House Representative NOT support this bill in the event it does make it to a full House vote. And if one of the subcommittee members listed below is YOUR representative, it is imperative that you contact them immediately and request that they oppose this legislation.

20.5 million more acres of wilderness would not only shut down a good portion of the areas that we currently are allowed to recreate on, but it would also devastate local communities near these new proposed wilderness areas from the loss of jobs caused by numerous businesses going under due to the lack of access to our national forests.

Members of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands
1333 Longworth House Office Building
(202) 226-7736 Fax: (202) 226-2301

Mr. Raul M. Grijalva, Arizona, Chairman
Mr. Rob Bishop, Utah, Ranking Republican Member

You can look up the contact information for your representative at the following link:
Lookup your U.S. House Representative

Thank you in advance for proactively responding to this call to action!

Dave Hurwitz
Snowmobile Alliance of Western States 

Copyright 2007, Snowmobile Alliance of Western States. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to distribute this information, in whole or in part, as long as Snowmobile Alliance of Western States (SAWS) is acknowledged as the source. If you are not yet a member of SAWS, and would like receive our emails, please sign up on our web site today. SAWS is Free to join! http://www.snowmobile-alliance.org/

Additional information regarding this bill
_____________________________________________________________________

Here is a link to the entire bill for your reading enjoyment:
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc110/h1975_ih.xml 

_____________________________________________________________________

 http://www.wildrockies.org/nrepa/brochure/nrepa_desig.html

 NREPA Designations

The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA) differs from traditional state-by-state wilderness bills by offering a variety of designations designed to work in concert to achieve one goal: protection of an entire, functioning ecosystem. These designations are based on the best science on ecological and watershed features—not arbitrary political boundaries.

Wilderness
NREPA affords America's pristine roadless lands with their highest level of legal protection—designation under the 1964 Wilderness Act. These designations (20,572,147 acres) complete the visionary work enacted by previous Congresses and fill important ecological gaps overlooked when our understanding of conservation biology was less advanced. 

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http://www.montanasnewsstation.com/Global/story.asp?S=7184533&nav=menu227_7

Federal proposal would designate million of Montana acres as roadless wilderness

Oct 8, 2007 01:20 PM PDT

Member of the U.S. Congress and environmental groups are making another play at declaring millions of acres of land as "roadless" wilderness in the Northern Rockies including come 7,000,000 acres in Montana alone. The plan is slated for a major hearing in Washington, DC later this month.

The "Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act", (HR1975), is sponsored by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York and Congressman Christopher Shays of Connecticut. So far over 100 other members of Congress have signed onto the measure which has the full backing of environmental groups like the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.

In one of the most sweeping proposals effect wild lands in our region in years the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act would designate all roadless areas in the Northern Rockies as "wilderness". In addition to the Montana lands that would include over 9,000,000 acres in Idaho and 5,000,000 acres in Wyoming in addition to areas in Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

Backers of the measure claim it's critical to preserving wild land areas and the region's ecosystem of plants, fish and animals and also claim it will save tax dollars and create over 2,000 jobs.

The hearing is set for October 18th.

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