Tim Alpers of the Eastern Sierra looked forward to meeting and talking to President Barak Obama Monday. Alpers, long involved in public issues of our area, received an invitation to attend the signing of the Wilderness Bill in Washington, D.C.
Alpers said he received a phone call last week from the White House Office of Inter-Governmental Communications. He said he thought it was a joke at first. In fact, it was an invitation to attend the signing of HR 146, the Wilderness Bill, at the White House.
Alpers said he hoped to have an opportunity to meet and chat with President Obama at the signing in the East Room of the White House.
As for the bill itself, Alpers called it a bi-partisan bill that moved fast through Congress and the Senate. He also called it a good, but not perfect, bill. “There are a lot of things in there for our local economy in the Eastern Sierra that will be helpful for many years to come.”
We did talk to Alpers after the signing of the bill. He said that he let out a war whoop after President Obama placed his signature on the legislation. Alpers said he did speak with the President and told him that he signed a bill that will protect two beautiful water sheds and thousands of acres of land. Alpers also chatted with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi about the need for bi-partisanism in Washington.
In the Eastern Sierra, Inyo County produced vocal opposition to the Wilderness Bill. Mono County revealed a mostly supportive attitude. Today, one local man reminded us that one of Congressman McKeon’s goals was to release the Wilderness Study Areas which were in status limbo for years. These lands will now be open.