Merkley Statement on Final Passage of Public Lands Bill

Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate today overwhelmingly approved legislation to expand protections for public lands in Oregon and other states.  Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley joined 72 of his colleagues in supporting the bill:

“From Mt. Hood to Central Oregon to the Siskiyou National Forest, there are few regions of our state that are not touched by this legislation.  These protections are absolutely necessary in protecting the rolling hills, deserts and mountains that make Oregon’s landscape so diverse and special to everyone who is lucky enough to call our state home,” said Merkley.  “I’m proud to have cast my first vote in favor of breaking the logjam that had tied up this important bill and I’m proud that this is the first bill that will pass the Senate during my tenure.”

The public lands bill consists of numerous pieces of legislation that were blocked from consideration during the last Congress.  Among those bills are five that would directly affect Oregon:  the Copper Salmon Wilderness Act, Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness Act of 2007, Oregon Badlands Wilderness Act of 2008, Spring Basin Wilderness Act of 2008, and the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument Voluntary and Equitable Grazing Conflict Resolution Act. 

The bill will now be considered by the House of Representatives.