LETTER: Not Another Wilderness Bill

By Beacon Staff

An article in the newsletter “Quarterly” was shown to me that highlights yet another wilderness bill. This one is HR 1187, introduced in 1992 and presently sponsored by New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney. The bill (Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act) calls for an additional 24 million acres of federal land in Montana, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington be set aside as designated wilderness.

For those of us dependent on resource development on federal lands for our livelihood, it is disconcerting when a misinformed lawmaker like Maloney can threaten our fate from 3,000 miles away.

At the founding of our nation, the states had considerable autonomy, but over time, the federal government has amassed more power at the expense of the states with the result that today the people of states with small populations like ours have little say over their own destiny.

This bill has little chance of becoming law at this time, but its proponents will keep pushing until some day they will get their way. Similarly, the loonies pushing for gun control lost the latest battle in the House and Senate, but they’ll be back with Obama, Bloomberg, Feinstein, Schumer and the brilliant Joe Biden leading the way.

Bill Payne

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