Bill harms outdoor use
July 26, 2012 · 4:35 PM
A bill has been passed by the U.S. House allowing the Border Patrol to build roads, vehicle barricades, airstrips and dumps on federal lands up to 100 miles from U.S. borders — including places like the Colville National Forest and Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Park where Washington residents have long enjoyed hunting, fishing and hiking.
H.R. 1505, the “National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act,” would also allow the Border Patrol to ignore 16 laws that protect clean water and air, and erode efforts to restore prized wildlife habitat on those lands.
Rep. Dave Reichert voted against removing this portion of the legislation. But, he ended up voting against the overall bill with this provision in it. We can only hope that he meant to oppose this “border bill” all along.
Who wants this? Not Homeland Security. It is on record saying they do not need or want this kind of unchecked authority over public lands.
Let's hope the Senate doesn't support this bill that would impact our public lands and that if they try to, Sens. Cantwell and Murray object. We expect our senators to ensure that our outdoor traditions and access to healthy lands are not compromised.
John and Ronni McGlenn, Washington Wildlife Federation