August 4, 2008

Lawmakers request veto of Landscape bill

By John Stewart

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Bill Sali spearheaded a letter to President Bush asking him to veto a bill that would lock up 26 million acres of public land across the nation, including Idaho.

More than two dozen other lawmakers signed Sali’s letter expressing serious concerns with H.R. 2016, the National Landscape Conservation System Act.

The measure would lock up 26 million acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, including land in Idaho, and would prevent many popular family recreational opportunities and almost all economic activities from taking place on the land. Sali said he’s also concerned the bill would block options for American energy exploration and production.

“This bill could have huge energy implications, as all land permanently locked up under this bill would also mean these lands are permanently off limits to energy development,” Sali said.

“Right now the best plan Congress can come up with to solve our energy woes is to take a five week vacation. To make matters worse, if this bill were signed it would be just another step backwards in the goal to increase American energy production.

“America needs action from Congress to ensure that our local and national economies grow stronger and more resilient. To do that they will need the vital resources available from secure American sources. In addition, locking up land would prevent many recreational activities and would be devastating for the people who hunt, fish, camp, raise their kids and try to earn a living on and around these lands. It is in the best interest of our constituents that the President veto this bill should it come before him,” concluded Sali.

H.R. 2016 passed the House on April 9, 2008 and awaits action in the Senate.

Twenty six other Members of Congress signed Sali’s letter, including Minority Leader Boehner, Ranking Member Young, Duncan Hunter, Rob Bishop, Paul Broun, Walley Herger, John Doolittle, Tom Price, Jack Kingston, Steve Pearce, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Lynn Westmoreland, Henry Brown, Doug Lamborn, Louie Gohmert, John Duncan, Mary Fallin, George Radanovich, Robert Latta, Tim Walberg, Bill Shuster, Tom Tancredo, Virginia Foxx, Jeff Flake, and John Shimkus.