With rising public dismay and opposition from several western Republican Senators, late on December 13, 2005 Representative Pombo and Gibbons agreed to remove all the changes to U.S. Mining law from the House passed version of the Budget Reconciliation Act.
In discussions with staff of Congressman Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) Western Watersheds Project has learned this morning that the mandated sale of two parcels of public land in Idaho and Nevada were also removed with the mining mark-up language. The Idaho parcel is the stone quarry located next to Western Watersheds Projects' Greenfire Preserve.
Readers wishing to read more about the proposed sale of the quarry, can review an article and photos including an aerial photo showing the quarry and portions of the Preserve at this URL:
While this is very good news WWP believes that Rep. Pombo may seek to return the mandated sale 520 acres surrounding the L & W Stone quarry in the Conference Committee that will meet to reconcile the Senate and House versions of the Budget Bill. Remember that the Senate passed Budget Bill still includes the controversial provision to permit oil and gas drilling within the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the House version includes the similarly controversial provision to break up the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals into two new circuits.
WWP thanks readers who have already contacted their Senators and Representatives, and asks that contacts still be made to prevent the mandated public land sales from returning to any final Budget Bill.
Communication opposing the public land sales continue to be very important especially to Senator Pete Domenici (R-New Mexico) as well as Idaho's two Senators Mike Crapo and Larry Craig.