Bill to Protect 86 U.S. Rivers Blocked By Congress

Even though the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 sailed through the Senate on a 73-21 vote, it failed by two votes to get through Congress this week. Bill S. 22 would have protected over 350,000 acres along 1,100 miles of rivers in Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, Vermont, and Massachusetts. The Snake River Fund blog covers the topic in detail: “‘While we are very disappointed that the House chose not to protect these national treasures today, we hope Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Rahall will bring the bill up for another vote in the near future,’ said David Moryc, Senior Director of River Protection at American Rivers.”
According to Associated Press writer Matt Joyce, the action to block the bill’s passage was led by those concerned the legislation would block oil and gas development on federal land, including Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis. “[Spokesman Tom] Reed said Sportsmen for the Wyoming Range supports the Wyoming Range bill as it’s written. ‘Our contention all along as sportsmen is: Is it really worth having a national treasure in terms of trophy mule deer herd and three subspecies of cutthroat trout and the world’s largest population of Shiras moose damaged in order to get 24 days worth of natural gas?’ he said. ‘I know sportsmen feel absolutely not.'”

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