PNS Daily Newscast - January 21, 2020 

Climate change is on the radar for rural voters in Iowa. Plus, the Senate impeachment rules.

2020Talks - January 21, 2020 

Candidates attended the Iowa Brown & Black Forum in Des Moines, and answered tough questions about their records on race. It was MLK Day, and earlier many were in South Carolina marching together to the State Capitol.

Smooth Sailing for WA’s “Wild Sky Wilderness”

April 11, 2008

Washington, DC – It's been a wild ride for the Wild Sky. After seven long years of Congressional ping-pong, Washington State is close to getting its "Wild Sky Wilderness Area." The bill designating it passing the U.S. Senate on Thursday--for the fourth time. The difference now, supporters say, is that it won't get held up in its final pass through the U.S. House.

Wild Sky encompasses 106,000 acres of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest northeast of Seattle. It's significant because it includes lower-elevation land that might otherwise be prime for development, and not just mountain peaks.

Sen. Patty Murray, chief sponsor of the measure, showed obvious relief in her comments on the Senate floor after the vote.

"We worked hard to accommodate the needs of the users of this area. Very early on in the process, we reached out to all the local stakeholders to gauge their interest and ask if they had any concerns. We were able to work with them and addressed many of the issues they raised."

Wilderness designation means no motorized vehicles are allowed. Supporters include sportsmen's and conservation groups, and at least 150 local businesses. President Bush already has said he plans to sign the bill, which means the new wilderness area--the first in more than 20 years for Washington--could be a reality sometime later this year.

In her comments on the Senate floor after the vote, Murray invited fellow lawmakers to come out for a visit to the Wild Sky area, and listed the benefits of adding to Washington's wilderness.

"It's going to enhance our economy, it's going to improve our recreational opportunities, and I can tell you, people from my state are eager to get this bill now through the House quickly, onto the President's desk to sign."

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WA