Mike Matz, director of Pew's Campaign for America's Wilderness, issued the following statement to commend the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands for holding a hearing today on legislation to protect wild land in Oregon and Nevada.
This Congress still has time to make significant gains for public lands protection, and it is heartening to see measures to provide a legacy for future generations being considered. We want to thank House Subcommittee members for taking up these bills, which together would hand down to our children more than 84,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness in Oregon and Nevada.
“Wilderness contributes much to the economy, improves the quality of lives for local residents, and keeps water and air clean and healthy. We applaud the members of Congress who are responding to calls from their constituents to see more places protected. We look forward to these bills continuing to move toward enactment.”
Testimony was taken Thursday, March 8 on the Pine Forest Range Recreation Enhancement Act (H.R. 3377), sponsored by Reps. Dean Heller, Joe Heck and Mark Amodei (all R-NV) and Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) and the Wild Rogue Wilderness Act (H.R. 3436), introduced by Reps. Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader and Earl Blumenauer (all D-OR).
The Nevada legislation would designate the 26,000-acre Pine Forest Range Wilderness in the northwest part of the state, and the second bill would safeguard more than 58,000 acres of wilderness on the Rogue River in southwest Oregon, and 143 miles of the river itself.