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GOP Group Calls for Action on Lummis Legislation

April 3, 2012

CASPER, Wyo. - The group Republicans for Environmental Protection says there are at least 19 Republican-backed bills in the U.S. House that would designate new wilderness areas, conserve wetlands and fight invasive species in 14 states, including Wyoming, but the bills seem to be taking a back seat to other priorities in Congress.

The group's vice president, Jim DiPeso, says they've asked House Speaker John Boehner to help change that.

"Conservation and environmental stewardship should not be a partisan issue. We all depend on clean air and clean water. We all value our National Parks."

DiPeso points out that some of the nation's major environmental decisions were made by Republican presidents, and that conservation laws on the table aim for balance in the mixed-use mandate for public lands.

"Some areas should be set aside for timber and other economic production. Other areas that merit permanent protection as wilderness should be considered."

Wyoming Representative Cynthia Lummis' Federal Land Transfer Facilitation Act is on the group's list for action. The bill would help pave the way for acquisition of lands with high environmental and recreational values.

Other bills on the list propose wilderness for Colorado and Idaho.

Lummis' bill is HR 3365. Other bills the group is pushing are listed at www.rep.org.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY