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house Bill H.R. 2546

Should Nearly 1.4 Million Acres of Land in California, Colorado, & Washington Be Designated as Wilderness?

Argument in favor

Designating these federal lands as wilderness and making additions to the National Wild & Scenic River System would permanently protect some of the most majestic and unique landscapes in America from being tarnished by human development and management.

jimK's Opinion
···
last Wednesday
Yes, Protect Our Natural Resources, Dammit. No more rolling back of the protections of our natural wonders so that our lands can be pillaged by unfettered profiteers, polluted by their mining excrement, nor forever lost to future generations.
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burrkitty's Opinion
···
last Wednesday
Yep. Every one of those places needs protection.
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larubia's Opinion
···
last Wednesday
This is the right direction for our National protected lands & parks! The bill runs counter to this administration’s goal to privatize parks, sell off America’s wild horses at auctions to foreign slaughter houses, and use our lands for drilling/fracking. This administration’s greed is obscene.
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Argument opposed

The six bills in this package failed to achieve the local consensus needed to merit permanent designation of these lands as wilderness. Additionally, these bills should be considered individually instead of being into a larger package for the sake of transparency & accountability.

Robert 's Opinion
···
last Wednesday
Haven’t these idiots in Congress been listening to our new house leader AOC? The end of the earth is less than 10 years away and nothing we can do can change it.
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Doug's Opinion
···
last Wednesday
The states rights and wishes should be considered. If there wasn’t support for these as individual bills, combining them as one bill and attempting to push them through again isn’t the best approach. Fix the issues that cost them support, then submit them for a vote.
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Mark's Opinion
···
last Thursday
No. But you should designate Los Angeles as “wilderness”.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed February 12th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 231 Yea / 183 Nay
    IntroducedMay 7th, 2019

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!

What is House Bill H.R. 2546?

This bill — the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act — would authorize the designation of several wilderness and conservation areas within public lands in California, Colorado, and Washington. In sum, the bill would designate 1.37 million acres of federal lands as wilderness and add nearly 1,000 miles of rivers to the National Wild and Scenic River System. It contains provisions of six bills that were combined as part of this package,a breakdown of which can be found below.

Colorado Wilderness Act: This section would designate specified lands in Colorado managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Forest Service, the National Park Service (NPS), and Bureau of Reclamation as wilderness and components of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Specifically, it would incorporate these lands into the West Elk Wilderness area, and designate the Deep Creek Wilderness & Pisgah Mountain Wilderness areas following notice in the Federal Register.

The Dept. of the Interior (DOI) would be allowed to continue authorizing competitive running events that are currently permitted in the Redcloud Peak Wilderness & the Handies Peak Wilderness Areas. 

The Colorado Army National Guard could continue conducting aerial navigation training maneuver exercises through the High-Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site over the wilderness areas designated by this bill.

Additionally, this bill would provide for the securing, adjudication, and use of U.S. water rights for wilderness areas designated by this bill.

Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act: This section would establish the South Fork Trinity-Mad River Restoration Area, the Northwest California Public Lands Remediation Partnership, the Trinity Lake & Del Norte County visitor centers, the Horse Mountain Special management Area, the Elk Camp Ridge National Recreation Trail, and the Sanhedrin Conservation Management Area.

It would also make the following designations:

  • Specified federal lands as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System;

  • The North Fork Wilderness as the North Fork Eel River Wilderness;

  • Specified federal lands as potential wilderness areas; and

  • Specified segments of certain rivers and creeks and of a specified river estuary as components of the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System.

Additionally, this section would:

  • Authorize the utilization of certain forest residues for research & development of bio-based products that result in net carbon sequestration;

  • Authorize initiatives to restore degraded redwood forest ecosystems in the Redwood National Forest & state parks;

  • Require studies about visitor accommodations in the Six Rivers, Shasta-Trinity, and Mendocino National Forests, as applicable;

  • Authorize partnerships for trail and campground maintenance, public education, visitor contacts, and visitor center staffing on federal lands in Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, and Del Norte Counties; and

  • Adjust the boundaries of the Elkhorn Ridge Wilderness.

Central Coast Heritage Protection Act: This section would designate specified lands in the Los Padres National Forest & the Bakersfield BLM Field Office as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, and as the Black Mountain Scenic Area.

It would designate certain land in the Los Padres National Forest as:

  • The Machesna Mountain Potential Wilderness Area, to be incorporated into the Machesna Mountain Wilderness Area;

  • The Fox Mountain Potential Wilderness Area, to be incorporated into the San Rafael Wilderness;

  • The Condor Ridge Scenic Area; and

  • The Condor National Scenic Trail.

This section would also designate specific segments of the Indian, Mono, Matilija, Sespe, and Piru Creeks and Sisquoc River in California as components of the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System, and require studies of new trails for recreation opportunities.

Indian tribes would be assured of access to the wilderness areas, scenic areas, and potential wilderness areas designated by this bill for traditional cultural religious purposes.

Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act: This section would adjust the boundary of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in California as depicted on a specified map to include the Rim of the Valley Unit. The Rim of the Valley Unit, and any lands or interests acquired by the U.S. and located within its boundaries, would be administered as part of the recreation area. The DOI could make acquisitions of non-federal land within the boundaries of the Rim of the Valley Unit only through exchange, donation, or purchase from a willing seller.

San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act: This section would expand the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument by establishing the San Gabriel National Recreation Area along the San Gabriel River corridor (portions of which would be added to the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System).

Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act: This section would designate specific public lands on the Olympic peninsula in the state of Washington as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, including the:

  • Lost Creek Wilderness;

  • Rugged Ridge Wilderness;

  • Alckee Creek Wilderness;

  • Gates of the Elwha Wilderness;

  • Green Mountain Wilderness;

  • Moonlight Dome Wilderness;

  • South Quinault Ridge Wilderness;

  • Sam’s River Wilderness; and

  • Canoe Creek Wilderness.

It would also make additions to the:

  • Buckhorn Wilderness;

  • The Brothers Wilderness;

  • Mount Skokomish Wilderness;

  • Wonder Mountain Wilderness; and

  • Colonel Bob Wilderness.

Impact

Residents of, and visitors to relevant areas in California, Colorado, and Washington; and federal land management agencies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2546

A CBO cost estimate for this package of bills is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) offered the following statement in announcing that this package of bills designating nearly 1.4 million acres of federal land as wilderness and almost 1,000 miles of river to the National Wild and Scenic River System will be considered by the House:

“The areas in this bill are some of the most majestic and irreplaceable landscapes that our nation has to offer. By officially designating these unique places as wilderness, we will be providing them the permanent protection they each deserve.”

The bills that make up this package passed the House Natural Resources Committee on largely party-line votes, including:

Republicans opposed these bills, arguing they lacked balance & local consensus and could hamper efforts to combat wildfires in the area by designating them as wilderness and closing them off to management by federal agencies like the BLM & Forest Service.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region via Flickr / Public Domain)

AKA

Protecting America's Wilderness Act

Official Title

To designate certain lands in the State of Colorado as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, and for other purposes.

    Yes, Protect Our Natural Resources, Dammit. No more rolling back of the protections of our natural wonders so that our lands can be pillaged by unfettered profiteers, polluted by their mining excrement, nor forever lost to future generations.
    Like (186)
    Follow
    Share
    Haven’t these idiots in Congress been listening to our new house leader AOC? The end of the earth is less than 10 years away and nothing we can do can change it.
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    Yep. Every one of those places needs protection.
    Like (107)
    Follow
    Share
    This is the right direction for our National protected lands & parks! The bill runs counter to this administration’s goal to privatize parks, sell off America’s wild horses at auctions to foreign slaughter houses, and use our lands for drilling/fracking. This administration’s greed is obscene.
    Like (98)
    Follow
    Share
    Just watch a mini series on PBS on the national parks from the beginning of the 1900’s. So fascinating and that our politicians at that time needed to pay attention to these national treasures. We need to continue to protect our national treasures..and potential new protected areas.
    Like (56)
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    Thank you Jamie Raskin for voting for it. Not only designated Wilderness but also part of the Zero Carbon Emissions Plan since trees & plants are the best way of riding the atmosphere of carbon. Need a formula that states for every development or carbon emitting device that a contribution of x is required for maintaining & increasing green space! @Gail: Agree that many (20) on Countable disagree for various reasons like: 1) want local control ranging from the state to municipalities to individuals-8 at last count 2) fire concerts-3 last count 3) restricted use to walking, riding horses, hunting -3 last count 4) don’t believe in Global warming & dislike those involved in Green New Deal-2 last count 5) anti-federal government-2 last count 6) don’t trust democratically authored bills-2 last count
    Like (42)
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    Protect our wild lands! Especially from Trump!
    Like (39)
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    Mr. Newhouse, Do something right for a change and vote to protect these lands! POST VOTE: Your vote was wrong! I cannot remember the last time you represented me or my views!
    Like (34)
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    We need our wilderness for our children and grandkids and to produce oxygen. The short term gain of drilling mining or logging these areas is minor compared to the long term damage to our future.
    Like (33)
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    Let's leave something for the younger generation besides wars and hatred of other people!
    Like (24)
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    Please vote yes!!!!
    Like (21)
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    We need to preserve this land for generations to come. We have no idea what the future holds for the advancement of technology and how that will effect our natural resources. Keep these lands as federal lands so our children can enjoy them forever.
    Like (20)
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    If you have ever traveled to our wonderful national parks, you would realize the true treasure that they each are. I support this action and hope my Representatives will also.
    Like (19)
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    What little efforts can be done to preserve land should be done pronto. Nothing extreme, just have to be aware we need this done.
    Like (19)
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    But of course Donald Trump will want to build a vile and ugly wall across it.
    Like (19)
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    Yes! Trump is drilling for oil and minerals in all our existing park lands.
    Like (18)
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    Sue said this and I agree: Just watch a mini series on PBS on the national parks from the beginning of the 1900’s. So fascinating and that our politicians at that time needed to pay attention to these national treasures. We need to continue to protect our national treasures..and potential new protected areas. Protect b4 comrade tRUMP destroys every las wild space!
    Like (17)
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    We need to preserve more, not less, land as an inheritance for our children, and their children. Wilderness can never be replaced once gone.
    Like (17)
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    The states rights and wishes should be considered. If there wasn’t support for these as individual bills, combining them as one bill and attempting to push them through again isn’t the best approach. Fix the issues that cost them support, then submit them for a vote.
    Like (16)
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    Yes!!! YES!! And the other Monuments and National Parks should have PROTECTION from ANY ADMINISTRATION THAT DECIDES TO SELL, LEASE OR IN ANY WAY DISTURB THE PEOPLE’S LAND. As if is, right now Trump is selling or leasing our National Lands to the Gas & Oil companies. And those companies DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE LAND, they only card about getting the oil out of it & money in their pockets.
    Like (15)
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