Bi-partisan coalition introduces the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representatives Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) led a bi-partisan coalition of House members today in introducing The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives. This sweeping legislation would extend official protection to more than 20 million acres of federal public lands in the U.S. Northern Rockies in parts of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, and Washington.
Grammy award winner Carole King and Alliance for the Wild Rockies executive director, Mike Bader, joined Shays and Maloney at a Capitol Hill press conference in introducing the bill.
“America has the opportunity to protect 20 million acres of virgin forests and save hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars in the process,” Shays said. “Logging on these lands is a money losing proposition without taxpayer subsidies. The support of groups like the National Taxpayers Union signals something else as well: That our tax dollars should not go to corporate welfare.”
King said NREPA offers an opportunity for Congress to unite on an issue that benefits everyone. “More and more, Members of Congress tell me they realize that neither I, nor the environment, nor the people I speak for, are going to go away,” King said.
“Why should we be providing money to companies which have little respect for our natural resources?” asked Maloney. “Some of the nation’s last remaining elk herds and grizzlies are managing to survive in these areas. If we allow further development—we’re actually offering taxpayer money to finance the depletion of the land and the species.”
“As we approach the 200th anniversary of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, which passed through the heart of the Northern Rockies, we must remember how much of our natural heritage was there when they came through, and how little now is left. We must protect this precious national heritage as a legacy for future generations,” said Mike Bader, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.
In the 105th Congress, NREPA reached a new high in congressional sponsorship with 72 sponsors. Grassroots advocates in the wild Rockies bioregion are gearing up for a major push for NREPA in the 106th Congress, focusing on securing hearings for the bill and obtaining more than 100 official sponsors.
We encourage you to become a part of this exciting campaign. For more information on how you can help, please contact AWR’s Bob Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org.