Merkley: Public Lands Bill Moves Forward Preservation of Oregon’s Natural Areas

Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate today overwhelmingly approved legislation to expand protections for public lands in Oregon and other states.  Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley joined 76 of his colleagues in supporting the bill.  He issued the following statement on passage of the bill:

“Oregon has a legacy of conserving our state’s remarkable rivers, forests, and mountains and it is important we continue to preserve those areas so they can be enjoyed by Oregonians and visitors from around the world.  This legislation protects such natural treasures as wilderness and recreation areas around Mt. Hood and the Columbia Gorge, in the backcountry of the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument, and along the Elk River.  The bill also creates outstanding recreation opportunities near the John Day River and protects the Badlands area just outside of Bend.

“I am optimistic that the House will quickly adopt this legislation, so that this long-delayed – and critically important – bill can finally become law.  It is my hope that Oregonians will enter spring break knowing that these beautiful natural areas will be preserved for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.”