Wilderness designation in the NDAA?

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Tell Congress, “No Lame Duck Wilderness”

This July the House of Representatives passed the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. You would think that those who passed the bill would be touting its benefits to our troops, celebrating new programs to keep Americans safe, and maintaining the basic needs of our military during a pandemic.

 
Originally published by The Blue Ribbon Coalition on Nov 20, 2020.
No lame duck wilderness Forum
 

Instead, several members of the House of Representatives celebrated their success in sneaking over 1 million acres of wilderness designations into the House version of the defense bill. The Protecting America’s Wilderness Act – introduced by Representative Degette from Colorado – is the first bill that was added to the NDAA.

This bill will restrict recreation access to 1.4 million acres of land located primarily in areas traditionally designated as multiple-use in Colorado, California, and Washington. Wilderness is the most restrictive land-use designation and wilderness designations always result in loss of access for numerous public land users.

The bill’s sponsor falsely claims wilderness designation will provide economic benefits to the surrounding areas. By restricting motorized recreation, wilderness designations limit the sizable economic impacts that could come from shared-use management of public lands.

Kevin Allard
Author: Kevin Allard

Kevin is an American outdoorsman born and raised in rural Arizona who grew up exploring the Arizona backcountry with his father. Today, he and his son travel to the most remote regions of Arizona, scavenging for the remains of early western pioneers. As a lifelong outdoorsman, Kevin has learned to stick close to his roots while engaging in important advocacy work regarding motorized access to public lands. You can find his work in many local and nationwide publications, including The Western Journal, 4Low Magazine, and his website AZBackroads.com.



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