Wilderness Bill Passes The Senate

Thursday in Washington D.C., the Senate passed the Public Land Management Act of 2009, the large bill that contains the Eastern Sierra San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act.

capitol.jpgAfter filibuster proofing the land management act on Sunday with what is known as a cloture vote, the bill was set up to pass over the opposition posed by Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn. With the vote today, 73 senators approved the act. 21 voted against.

This Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 contains various types of federal protections for 2 million acres of land nationwide, including 90,000 acres in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park, and of local concern, roughly 450,000 acres of new federally designated Wilderness in the Eastern Sierra including the northern portion of the White Mountains.

Also tucked away into this large land use bill is a provision that would free up the allowed use on 12 acres of Mammoth Community Water District land slated to be used as a possible new home for Mono County Search and Rescue.

The Land Management act is now through the Senate. The next step is the House of Representatives. Lindsey Mask with Congressman Buck McKeons office reports that there is no word on when the house will schedule a hearing on this land use act.

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