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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 18, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Omnibus Public Lands bill

Protecting millions of acres and dollars

Congress is on the verge of passing the largest expansion of the wilderness system in 15 years.

The bill, The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, passed in Senate with a large majority and goes to the House for a vote early next week. As a Sierra Club member, I care deeply about this bill and what it means for our country.

The Omnibus bill will protect more than 2 million acres of wilderness in nine states, including American treasures like the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, Oregon’s Mount Hood and Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

Other key provisions would add permanence to the 26-million-acre National Landscape Conservation System, preserve over a million acres of Wyoming for hunting and fishing and protect hundreds of miles of free-flowing rivers in six states.

These wilderness areas and other protected lands provide great benefits to rural economies by increasing property values, providing new economic opportunities in recreation and tourism and creating desirable places for people to live, exercise and work.

I urge you to support this bill and the House of Representatives to vote yes on S. 22.

— Fuoad Shashani, Kent

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