Favorites on Friday: A Big Week for Wilderness

Photo: Greg Lief

This week was an important one for Wilderness.  With Senator Wyden at the helm of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Senate took a major step toward the passage of public lands bills, sending a total of 14 measures to the House.  With unanimous consent, the Senate passed bills to designate Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers in Oregon, Washington and Michigan.

"I commend Senator Murkowski and the rest of my colleagues on the committee for proving that sensible bills with bipartisan support can thread the needle and pass the U.S. Senate," Wyden said. "The bills passe (today) will promote recreation, speed up development of renewable power and protect some of our country's most pristine areas."

Bills that passed included:

S. 23, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Conservation and Recreation Act, by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) to designate roughly 30,000 acres of wilderness at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which features stunning sand dunes and islands along Lake Michigan.

S. 352, Devil's Staircase Wilderness Act of 2013, by Wyden (D-Oregon), To provide for the designation of the Devil's Staircase Wilderness Area in the State of Oregon, to designate segments of Wasson and Franklin Creeks in the State of Oregon as wild rivers, and for other purposes.

S. 112, Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act, by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), which would add more than 20,000 acres to the Alpine Lakes wilderness area and add 10 miles of the Pratt River and nearly 30 miles of the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River to the National Wild and Scenic River System.

S. 383, by Murray, to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate a segment of Illabot Creek in Skagit County, Wash., as a component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

In additional to these bills being passed, two other Wilderness Bills moved out of committee and will soon beup for a vote by the entire Senate.

These bills included:

S. 353, Oregon Treasures Act of 2013, by Wyden and Merkley (D-Oregon), to designate certain land in the State of Oregon as wilderness, to make additional wild and scenic river designations in the State of Oregon, and for other purposes.

S. 341, San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act, by Udall (D -Colo.) and Bennett (D-Colo.), to designate 61,000 acres in San Miguel, Ouray, and San Juan Counties, Colorado, as wilderness, and for other purposes.

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