Wyoming Range Legacy Act gets House vote

Tue, 03/24/2009

Wyoming Range Legacy Act gets House vote

March 25, 2009


Tom Reed, (307) 349-8266
Gary Amerine, (307) 231-3097


Wyoming Range Legacy Act gets House vote
Sportsmen celebrate as state’s signature range earns permanent protection

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, the bill that contains the Wyoming Range Legacy Act that provides permanent protection from future oil and gas development for 1.2 million acres of Wyoming’s best hunting and fishing country. The final vote in favor of the measure was 285-140.

“This is very rewarding,” said Tom Reed, field coordinator for Trout Unlimited who worked extensively on the Wyoming Range Legacy Act. “It has been a long and difficult road, but today, Congress acted on behalf of hunters and anglers who understand the need for intact habitat if we are to continue enjoying our pastimes. We are indebted to Sen. Barrasso and Sen. Enzi for their support of this bill, and for their support of hunters and anglers in Wyoming.”

The Wyoming Range is home to three separate subspecies of cutthroat trout, as well as trophy herds of mule deer, elk and pronghorn. It’s also home to the West’s largest herd of moose, and is an upland game bird paradise, Reed said.
“I can’t thank Congress enough,” said Gary Amerine, owner of Greys River Trophies, an outfitting and guide business that operates in the Wyoming Range. “Not only have they protected my ability to make a living doing what I love, but they’ve listened to sportsmen from all over the country, who have told them that some places, like the Wyoming Range, are better off left just like they are. Thanks to their efforts, sportsmen will be hunting and fishing in the Wyoming Range long after I’m gone. I’m very grateful, and I know a lot of people like me are grateful, too.”

The omnibus act took a long, winding route through Congress. It was first considered—and passed—by the House in the fall of 2008, but things stalled in the Senate. In January, the bill passed the Senate, but failed to get the needed two-thirds majority in the House two weeks ago, when it was considered under suspension of rules. It went back to the Senate, where it was included as an amendment to a bill that had already passed the House—it passed the Senate last week with flying colors. Today’s vote in the House sends the bill to President Obama. Once it gets the president’s signature, it will become the law of the land.

“To know that all the hard work hunters and anglers contributed to this effort has finally paid of is very satisfying,” Reed said. “It proves that sportsmen have found their voice in the conservation arena, and that, when we take the initiative and work with lawmakers and others in government, we can get things done.”

Trout Unlimited is a private, non-profit organization with more than 140,000 members dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds.


Date: 3/25/2009


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