The Alpine Lakes bill (HR 608) had its last subcommittee hearing in October. The group is urging Speaker Boehner to take up the package of conservation bills as quickly as possible.
The group’s mission, says DiPeso, is to move the GOP more to the ideological center when it comes to conservation. He points out that some of the nation’s major environmental decisions were made by Republican presidents, from Teddy Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan, and says current efforts do not have to be so contentious.
“As former Gov. Dan Evans liked to say, there are no Republican rivers and there are no Democratic mountains. All these lands are for all Americans, for all time.”
In a recent hearing, House Natural Resources Subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) said designating more wilderness could restrict access for job-creating activities like logging and mining. But DiPeso’s group points out that plenty of public land exists for multiple use, and wilderness also brings economic benefits to an area.
More information is available at www.rep.org.