A group of four Conservation Alliance members traveled to Washington DC to talk to members of the US Senate about the importance of a proposal to protect more than 2 million acres of public land and nearly 1000 miles of rivers.

Representatives from KEEN, Cloudveil, Outdoor Industry Association, and The Conservation Alliance spent two days in meetings with 12 Senate offices to show support for S. 3213, a legislative package that includes more than 100 public lands bills. Included in the package are proposals to:

• Protect 128,000 acres of Wilderness and 80 miles of rivers on Oregon’s Mount Hood
• Designate 250,000 acres in Rocky Mountain National Park as Wilderness
• Secure Wild and Scenic River designation for 440 miles of streams in Wyoming’s Snake River headwaters
• Prohibit new oil and gas leases on 1.2 million acres of the Wyoming Range
• Protect 92,000 acres of public land in West Virginia and Virginia

“This is an historic piece of legislation that would save special wild places throughout the US,” said John Sterling, Conservation Alliance Executive Director. “Our members understand that protected public lands are important to the future of the outdoor industry.”

The proposal could go to the Senate floor for a vote before the end of July. Several provisions in the bill have already passed the House of Representatives, while others still need to move through that chamber.

“Whether in July or at the end of the Congressional session, we have reason to hope that these protections will be enacted in 2008,” said Sterling. “And that would be a lot to celebrate.”

Trip participants were Linda Tom (KEEN), Jeff Wogoman (Cloudveil), Amy Roberts (OIA), and Sterling.