Further Protection for the Owyhee River
With the Economic Stimulus Package getting all of the press today, we wanted to let you know that the U.S. House of Representatives is also scheduled to vote on legislation tomorrow concerning nature lovers everywhere.
The Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009 (S. 22) is a package of bills that will extend federal Wild and Scenic River protections to 86 rivers, including 316 miles of rivers and streams in the Owyhee and Bruneau basins of Southwestern Idaho. It also includes the largest expansion of wilderness protection in 25 years setting aside more than 2 million acres in 9 states. Areas like Oregon's Mt. Hood and Zion National Park in Utah are included in the bill, which boasts the government's highest level of protection.
This legislation has already passed the U.S. Senate and only needs to clear this last remaining hurdle. This bill is an excellent example of use and preservation as the bill includes grazing rights for farmers and recreational access for private and commercial boaters, while maintaining protections such as preventing the development of oil and gas.