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Published on March 22nd, 2012 | by Guest Contributor

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Some Republicans support conservation (but GOP Congress is sitting on their legislation)

Republicans for Environmental Protection today called on Speaker John Boehner to take up dozens of Republican-sponsored conservation and preservation measures that are pending in the GOP-led House.

In its letter to the Speaker, the organization pointed to three dozen Republican-sponsored measures that await House consideration. The measures would designate scenic wilderness areas, protect free-flowing rivers, establish new national monuments, and preserve historic battlefields.

“Taken together,” the letter says, “these measures would preserve key components of America’s landscape and history.”

“Conservation is conservative,” said David Jenkins, REP’s vice president for government and political affairs. “We want to send a message to House leadership that these important conservation and preservation measures stem from the traditional conservative ethic of stewardship and deserve to be passed.”

The group said the measures are necessary to preserve iconic American landscapes, bring jobs to rural communities, and help the GOP reclaim its historic mantle as the party of conservation.

The letter outlines the history of Republican conservation accomplishments, spanning from President Abraham Lincoln’s actions to preserve Yosemite to President George W. Bush’s designation of a 140,000-square-mile marine national monument.

“For 150 years, Republicans have led efforts to conserve America’s natural heritage, and we have Republicans in Congress who continue to lead,” said Jenkins. “But they need Speaker Boehner and other House leaders to help them succeed by embracing their efforts and bringing these worthwhile bills up for a vote.”

GOP-sponsored conservation and preservation legislation pending in the House includes:

  • HR 41 – Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia Wilderness Act – Darrell Issa (CA) – Designates 21,000 acres of wilderness in northern San Diego County, California
  • HR 51 – Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act - Don Young (AK) – Reauthorizes funds to conserve elephants, rhinos, and tigers
  • HR 56 – Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Act  - Steve Scalise (LA) – Provides for restoring Gulf Coast areas affected by Deepwater Horizon oil spill
  • HR 113 – Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests Protection Act – David Dreier (CA) – Designates 18,000 acres of wilderness in mountains surrounding Los Angeles Basin
  • HR 163 – Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act – Mike Simpson (ID) – Designates more than 330,000 acres of wilderness in Sawtooth and Challis National Forests
  • HR 258 – Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act – Rob Wittman (VA) – Promotes restoration of Chesapeake Bay
  • HR 608 – Alpine Lakes Wilderness and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act – Dave Reichert (WA) – Designates 22,100 acres of wilderness in mountains east of Seattle, designates two nearby rivers as Wild & Scenic
  • HR 856 – Sloan Hills Withdrawal Act – Dean Heller (NV) (now a U.S. senator) – Bars development of gravel pit on public lands in Clark County, Nevada
  • HR 892 – Stop Asian Carp Act – Dave Camp (MI) – Authorizes study to examine options to block spread of invasive Asian carp in Great Lakes
  • HR 977 – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Conservation and Recreation Act – Bill Huizenga (MI) – Designates 32,500 acres in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore fronting Lake Michigan
  • HR 1545 – Waco Mammoth National Monument Establishment Act – Bill Flores (TX) – Establishes Waco Mammoth National Monument in central Texas
  • HR 1884 – White Clay Creek Wild and Scenic Rivers Expansion Act – Joseph Pitts (PA) – Designates Wild & Scenic rivers in Pennslvania and Delaware
  • HR 1960 – North American Wetlands Conservation Extension Act – Rob Wittman (VA) – Reauthorizes North American Wetlands Conservation Act
  • HR 2621 – Chimney Rock National Monument Establishment Act – Scott Tipton (CO) – Establishes Chimney Rock National Monument in southwestern Colorado
  • HR 2706 – Billfish Conservation Act – Jeff Miller (FL) – Preserves several species of billfish
  • HR 2745 – Act to Facilitate a Multispecies Habitat Conservation Plan for the Virgin River – Joseph Heck (NV) – Requires proceeds from land sale to be used for conservation plan for Virgin River in southern Nevada
  • HR 3365 – Federal Land Transfer Facilitation Act – Cynthia Lummis (WY) – Facilitates public acquisition of lands with high environmental, recreational values
  • HR 3377 – Pine Forest Range Recreation Enhancement Act – Mark Amodei (NV) – Designates 26,000 acres of wilderness in Pine Forest Range in northwestern Nevada
  • HR 3510 – Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act  – Michael Grimm (NY) – Reauthorizes stamp program highlighting international species conservation




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