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Key public lands bill dropped

December 23, 2010
Filed under Features

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) stopped efforts to pass an omnibus public lands bills that would have restricted off-highway vehicle access to public lands, reported the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA).

Reid introduced the bill, the “America’s Great Outdoors Act of 2010,” on Dec. 17 as a substitute to the “Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 2009,” which is unrelated. The new bill would have restricted access to thousands of acres of public land, which key representatives, including House Natural Resources Chairman-elect Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), opposed.

The AMA, which has issued action alerts, written letters and applied procedural pressure to combat Reid’s efforts, praised the efforts of its action alert subscribers for playing a role in opposing the legislation. However, AMA Senior Vice President for Government Relations Ed Moreland also warned that Reid could bring a smaller version of the bill back to the floor before adjournment. The session could run until Jan. 4, he said.

“We need to protect public land for future generations, not from future generations, and that includes responsible OHV recreation access,” Moreland said in a release. “In addition, legislation deserves a full and public debate on its merits, and parliamentary tricks and sleight-of-hand, such as what we saw in 2009 and what we’ve experienced here, do not allow that.”

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