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Nevada's experiment with early caucusing is underway until tomorrow. Some candidates plus some Nevada Culinary Workers Union Local 226 members oppose Medicare for All, but Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders defends it, with a study just published making the case for it.

OR Badlands: Good for Business

August 21, 2008

Bend, OR - Business owners in Bend got together on Wednesday to urge Senator Gordon Smith to get behind a bill in Congress that would preserve the Badlands of Central Oregon as a wilderness area. As it turns out, they didn't need to. Smith has been quiet about the issue, but by e-mail his office confirmed his support for the "Oregon Badlands Wilderness Act," introduced by fellow Senator Ron Wyden.

That's good news for Bend retailer Rod Bien, who says it will pay off for all types of businesses.

"I think that is what drives a lot of people to Bend, in general. So, the more that we have to offer in terms of wilderness areas, I think that that's going to be a major way that Bend can promote itself and really target in that type of customer."

Initial concerns had come from recreational vehicle owners, who wanted off-road access to at least some of the 29,000 acres. Bien says that's no longer an issue.

"It's been over the last 20 years designated a study area, so it's not really like anything at all is going to change. There's already a ton of opportunity for off-road vehicles in the area. Why this has taken so long, I have no idea."

For now, the bill remains in a Senate subcommittee. More than 100 Central Oregon business owners have signed a new print ad stating their support for Badlands protection. That ad debuts today in the Bend Bulletin newspaper.

To learn more online, visit

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR