Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Wilderness Act heads for House vote

Posted By on Tue, Nov 26, 2019 at 4:55 PM

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On Nov. 20, lawmakers on the House Natural Resources Committee voted 21-13 to approve Rep. Diana DeGette’s Colorado Wilderness Act for a vote of the full House.

“This bill will permanently protect 32 unique areas across our state from the threat of future development and the destruction caused by drilling for oil and gas,” DeGette, D-Colorado, told lawmakers on the committee.

The bill would designate more than 600,000 acres of public land in Colorado as wilderness areas, the federal government’s highest level of protection. Wilderness areas are open to hiking, camping, hunting and other types of non-motorized outdoor recreation, but closed to development.

Republican committee member Rep. Doug Lamborn, whose district includes Colorado Springs, voted against the bill.

He said Mesa, Montezuma and Dolores boards of county commissioners had issued resolutions opposing the bill. One concern was that a wilderness designation could restrict fire mitigation near residential areas.

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