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.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

HR 146 - New Attempt to Pass the Omnibus Public Lands Act

based on information provided by a coalition of organizations that support the Public Lands Bill

On March 11 the House defeated S.22, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act, under Suspension of the Rules by a vote of 282 to 144, 2 votes short of a two-thirds majority. A new bill, HR 146, is being presented for a vote.

The critical portion of the bill for the North Country Trail is the passage, after a dozen years of effort, of the Willing Seller legislation.

Positive points being circulated in a floor handout by supporters include:
  • the legislation is bipartisan
  • it protects public lands, rural communities, and local economies
  • it includes provisions to ensure access for recreation, including hunting and fishing, and is supported by the NRA
  • many of the bills have gone through lengthy collaborative processes and have the support of local and national stakeholders and elected officials
  • the legislation is revenue neutral (passage will have no net effect on direct spending over 2009-2013)

Two amendments by Senator Coburn (R)OK, would not affect the issues in this bill which are critical to the North Country Trail. The amendments deal with California water rights. The coalition of organizations that support the bill are opposing the amendments.

It was expected that HR 146 would come to a vote on Wednesday, March 18. However, that has not yet occurred.

See Hike the Hill Advocated for the Big Three
See Omnibus Public Lands Bill Fails in House by 2 Votes
See Senate Passes Omnibus Public Lands Act
See Willing Seller Needs Your Help NOW

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