Despite the fact that iRunFar is headquartered a mere four miles from the political limelight that is DC… or perhaps in spite of it, we generally avoid discussing politics and the political process. However, as previously noted, iRunFar is passionate about land conservation and preservation. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is that we want some wild places left to go for sweet trail runs. With that in mind, we call for all you trail runners out there to voice your support for U.S. Senate Bill 3213, which is also known as the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2008. Read on for more information regarding the bill and how to support it.
While iRunFar has not and will not review the 760(!) page bill, here are some of S. 3213’s provisions highlighted by the Conservation Alliance*:
- Preservation of more than 2 million acres of public land and nearly 1000 miles of rivers
- Protect 128,000 acres of Wilderness and 80 miles of rivers on Oregon’s Mount Hood
- Designate 250,000 acres in Rocky Mountain National Park as Wilderness
- Secure Wild and Scenic River designation for 440 miles of streams in Wyoming’s Snake River headwaters
- Prohibit new oil and gas leases on 1.2 million acres of the Wyoming Range
- Protect 92,000 acres of public land in West Virginia and Virginia
iRunFar applauds Keen, Cloudveil, the Outdoor Industry Association, and the Conservation Alliance (the CA is a veritable who’s who of outdoor industry companies) for recently traveling to DC to advocate in favor of the bill. (Conservation Alliance’s press release on the DC trip. [broken link removed])
This proposal could go to the Senate floor as soon as the end of July, so please write your Senators voicing your support for this bill today! After finding your Senators here. all you need to do is send them a short note calling for them to vote in favor of the bill when it reaches the floor.
If you are particularly motivated, John Sterling, the executive director of CA, suggests you call Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and urge him to make time on the floor calendar for a vote on the bill. Reid is the Majority Leader, and he decides which bills will be voted on, and when. The best-case scenario would be for Reid to make time for a vote this month, hope that the bill passes the Senate, and give the House enough time to consider the bill before the end of the year. Reid’s phone number is (202) 224-3542. The message is simple: “Please schedule time for a vote on S. 3213, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2008, before the August Congressional recess.”
*As an aside, it may be worth noting that long-time ultrarunning ambassador and standout Krissy Moehl is now one of two staff members at the Conservation Alliance. If someone so committed to trail running as Krissy changed careers to work for this non-profit, that should tip you off that this group is doing things that are important to trail runners (not to mention, the world).