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House committee passes public lands bill

March 18, 2008
Filed under Features

The House Natural Resources Committee voted in favor of a bill to certify the National Landscape Conservation Systems on March 12, according to a recent news service story.

“We are concerned that this legislation will lead to (Bureau of Land Management) land managers moving away from multiple use and towards management goals that will limit access,” said Larry Smith, executive director of Americans for Responsible Recreational Access. The organization, of which the Motorcycle Industry Council is a founding member, urged legislators to oppose the bill.

Opponents had stalled the bill, saying it could lead to restrictions on conservation lands similar to those on national parks.

In June 2000, the Interior Department, under then-Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt, established the 26 million-acre National Landscape Conservation Systems in the Bureau of Land Management to protect special areas. The conversation systems consists of major areas in 12 western states, including 15 national monuments, 13 national conservation areas, a Steens Mountain management area in Oregon, a Headwaters Forest Reserve in northern California, 36 rivers, 148 wilderness areas, 4,264 miles of national trails and more than 600 wilderness study areas.

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