contact Betsy Hawkings, Congressman Shays, (202) 225-5541
Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act Co-Sponsored by Over 100
WASHINGTON – Lead sponsors Representatives Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), were joined today by singer/songwriter and activist Carole King and singer/songwriter James Taylor to reintroduce the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA) in the 108th Congress.
For the first time in its 12 year history, the bill is rolling out with over 100 congressional cosponsors. King, best known for her award-winning songwriting and albums, has been an advocate for NREPA for 12 years. Rep. Shays said, “This is a terrific bill that saves significant taxpayer money while protecting twenty-six million acres of federal wilderness in five western states. It saves money by ending subsidies to logging companies to harvest trees from public lands. It preserves ancient cedars, and the land where the buffalo roam.”
“If we allow further development we’re actually offering taxpayer money to finance the depletion of the land and the species Some of the nation’s last remaining elk herds and grizzly bears are managing to survive in these areas,” said Congresswoman Maloney.
NREPA is estimated to save taxpayers as much as $245 million in the next ten years.
This cutting-edge environmental bill that will create 2300 new jobs has caught the eye of both Republicans and Democrats. NREPA will protect the bioregion known as the Wild Rockies, spanning five states: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. This region is home to bison, elk, and grizzly bears that are losing land to
roam on due to the subsidizing of logging companies.
Considered radical when first introduced because it was based on science rather than political boundaries, NREPA has long been supported by environmentalists and business interests who recognize the value of preserving the region’s natural beauty.
National environment groups such as American Lands, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and, the Wilderness Society will be in attendance as well as representatives from the region covered by NREPA, including Ric Bailey of Hells Preservation Council in Oregon and Tim Coleman of Kettle Range Conservation Group in Washington. Former Interior Secretary Brock Evans of the Endangered Species Coalition and Lee Metzgar, a biologist from Montana, will speak about the importance of biological diversity and species preservation. Mr. Metzgar is one of the original scientists whose research contributed to the bill.
No newcomer to Congress, King’s efforts have been commended by environmental groups and politicians alike. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), chairman of the House Science Committee, commented to USA Today, “She does her homework, has a passion for the subject and is exceptionally well informed.” Boehlert is one of the original cosponsors of the bill this session.