Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Senate Passes Omnibus Public Lands Act

Indian Head at Pictured Rocks
Indian Head at Pictured Rocks (photo by J Young)
compiled from several souces

On January 15 the Senate passed S-22, the Omnibus Trails Bill. The North Country Trail was a big winner, as the legislation known as "Willing Seller" is a part of that bill. If the bill is now passed by the House, the National Park Service would for the first time, be allowed to purchase land to complete the trail. Purchases can only be made from willing sellers.

Also in the bill is protection as wilderness of 11,739 acres in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore along Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The NCT also traverses Pictured Rocks.

The package of more than 160 bills now moves to the House of Representatives, which is expected to consider it in the coming weeks. It must pass both houses before becoming law. If it is enacted the law will be the greatest increase of the National Wilderness Preservation System in 15 years, adding 2.1 million acres to the wilderness system.

Many of the provisions protect lands in the western United States, where the bill met with some stiff opposition. The bill passed 73-21.

How NCT state senators voted:
New York: Clinton- Yes, Schumer- Yes
Pennsylvania: Casey- Yes, Specter- Yes
Ohio: Brown- No Vote, Voinovich- Yes
Michigan: Levin- Yes, Stabenow- Yes
Wisconsin: Feingold- Yes, Kohl- Yes
Minnesota: Klobuchar- Yes, (other seat still undetermined)
North Dakota: Dorgan- Yes, Conrad- Yes

You can read the full text of the bill and check on its status at

See Senate Votes 'Yes' on Public Lands Protection Package
U.S. Senate Breaks Blockade of Public Lands Bills by Dr. No

No comments: