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Recreation Advocate

The OutdoorWire family websites feature news and information affecting outdoor recreation opportunities and access to public lands. 

Dissecting the Omnibus Lands Bill

 

The Bureau of Land Management reports that 16% of the 607 million acres of land owned by the federal government is designated as wilderness in the form of 708 National Wilderness Areas located in the U.S. This bill adds over 80 new wilderness designations or additions to federal lands.

During Senate debate on S.22, Senator Tom Coburn, R-OK., noted: "We are not suffering from a lack of wilderness areas in the United States. According to the Census Bureau, we have 106 million acres of developed land and 107 million acres of (officially declared) wilderness land."

Recently released by the GreenInfo Network, the California Protected Area Database notes that slightly over 48% of the state of California is open space lands that have been protected for primarily open space.

Adding to the "protection" is a new proposal coming from Senator Diane Feinstein, D-CA, titled the Mother Road National Monument.  This proposal is targeting over 2 million acres of southern California's Mojave Desert to be locked away.  This is the same region of the desert where BLM reports 70 renewal energy proposals encompassing about 600,000 acres.

Again, during a time of an "energy crisis", more energy development potential is being reduced.  This time, it is renewable energy production being halted.

Over 200 years ago, John Adams noted: "In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress."

For more reading:
Lost In An Energy Wilderness (Investor's Business Daily)
GreenInfo Network

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