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NREPA bill introduced in Senate and House!
For almost 30 years The Alliance for the Wild Rockies has been fighting to protect the Northern Rockies ecosystem. And now our Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA) has been introduced in both the House and Senate.
As we work to educate representatives and senators about the national importance of NREPA, AWR is taking immediate action with one of its most effective tools: litigation.
We have won more than 80% of our cases and have successfully protected land and habitat from illegal development and destruction. This approach has allowed AWR to keep parts of NREPA wild while keeping our operation small. Unlike many non-profits, our overhead is minimal. This means that virtually all of your donation will go to our mission.
Thank you for being part of the solution.
AWR Executive Director
Write your Senators
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You can reach the Whitehouse switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Direct lines and contact forms are here: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/
Write your Representatives
Fill out your personal info so we can find your Representatives. You can send our pre-written message to your Representatives, or personalize your message.
You can reach the Whitehouse switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Direct lines and contact forms are here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/
Help Us Protect 23 million Acres of Wilderness From Yellowstone to Glacier National Parks
Late April saw the introduction of The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA) jointly in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for the first time ever! This is a great bill and we need people to help us to continue to move it forward.
NREPA will designate all 23 million acres of inventoried roadless areas in the Northern Rockies, Montana, Idaho, western Wyoming, eastern Oregon and eastern Washington as Wilderness. NREPA is based on sound science and economics.
Leading scientists agree that Earth is in the middle of its sixth great extinction period, primarily due to human-caused impacts from habitat loss and/or destruction and global warming. Conservation biologists think that the only way to stop the loss of species is to protect large intact ecosystems and the Northern Rockies is one of the few places left in the world where an opportunity exists to save an intact ecosystem. Almost every species that was here when Europeans first arrived in America is still found here today — but many of these species such as lynx and bull trout are so threatened by climate change and habitat destruction that they require the protections of the Endangered Species Act.
Scientists found that in order for species to survive in the long run they need large and connected ecosystems. Places like Yellowstone National Park just aren’t big enough to ensure genetic diversity and once inbreeding starts, the genes are there forever and the damage has been done.
Hence, the connecting corridors for wildlife to safely migrate and breed outside of Yellowstone needs to be protected or those corridors will be fractured, disrupted with roads and all the activities they bring from extractive industries and development. NREPA does this by designating all of the unprotected roadless areas in our national forests between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks as Wilderness. The measure also removes about 6,500 miles of old and unneeded logging roads on a million acres to enhance and protect these critical wildlife corridors. Removing the old logging roads will also provide good jobs that will be paid for by prohibiting subsidized logging in the new wilderness areas.
NREPA is a big idea that people have continually tried to count out as impossible. When it was first proposed we were told that we would never get it introduced in Congress. We got it introduced in 1992. After we got it introduced, we were told that we would never get a hearing. The bill had hearings in 1994 and 2006. Then we were told that we would never get it introduced in the Senate. Now it is in both the House and the Senate. We agree it will not become law with the current Congress and President but we are in it for the long run. Big ideas have always taken a long time to get through Congress. Civil Rights legislation, for instance, took decades.
Although NREPA hasn’t yet become law, it has influenced significant progress on protecting what’s left of the nation’s dwindling roadless lands. NREPA demonstrated to President Clinton that there was broad public support for protecting all roadless areas and he then issued the Roadless Rule to protect all unroaded areas in our National Forests. But the Roadless Rule wasn’t strong enough to stop the Forest Service from logging in roadless areas. Now the new Congress and President Trump have made it clear that they want to open up even more public land to logging and road building, including Wilderness Study Areas, lands recommended for wilderness designation under Forest Plans, and even existing Wilderness Areas. We need to permanently protect roadless areas in the Northern Rockies as Wilderness and NREPA finishes what President Clinton started.
We need your help to do this. Please donate today to help us move NREPA forward but also help us stop President Trump and Congress from clearcutting old growth forests and bulldozing new logging roads.
There is simply no organization better equipped to do this than the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. The General Accounting Office, the auditing arm of Congress, found that the Alliance for the Wild Rockies has sued the Forest Service more than any other environmental group in the last 20 years and we have won more than any other group or individual. We sued to successfully protect bull trout under the Endangered Species Act. When President George W. Bush’s lawyer at the Department of Interior tried to limit the designation of lynx Critical Habitat we sued and won. When the Targhee National Forest on the west side of Yellowstone National Park wanted to cut down its last remaining old growth forests we sued and won. We have filed almost 100 lawsuits to protect habitat for native species in the Northern Rockies and we have won over 80% of the time.
You can be assured that every dollar you donate to the Alliance will be well spent. We don’t have a membership director, a development director, a party planner or a vice president in charge of mailing. We have one paid employee and a group of dedicated volunteers.
We don’t try and grow our organization to get more and more employees or buy fancy office buildings like bigger environmental groups do. We do one thing and do it better than anybody else. We protect habitat for native species including grizzly bears, bison, lynx and bull trout.
Unfortunately suing the federal government is not cheap. We don’t have staff attorneys. Instead we contract with dedicated attorneys and it costs a lot of money. Please make a donation today to help us keep the Northern Rockies Ecosystem intact and protect all the native wildlife species that depend on it so they will be present when NREPA eventually passes.