|What's happening with Pine Forest?|
|Written by Wild Nevada|
|Friday, 28 December 2012 15:52|
You've probably been wondering, as we have, why a bill designating a wilderness area in the Pine Forest Range of Humboldt County doesn't seem likely to pass this year.
This is a wilderness bill that has been supported by the entire Nevada Congressional delegation and was crafted from the ground up by all interested parties -- from sportsmen and ranchers to conservationists and recreationalists -- and has been held up by the highest policymakers as an example of wilderness done right.
By all rights, the Pine Forest Range Recreational Enhancement Act of 2012 should have passed in July. But it wasn't, and as the August recess morphed into the fall campaign season, followed by a Lame Duck session dominated by our race to the fiscal cliff, Pine Forest has failed to launch.
Our buddy Jim Jeffress from Trout Unlimited tells us that although the Nevada delegation "remains solidly in our corner" on Pine Forest, the bill has lost momentum as lawmakers figure out how to package it with several other land use bills.
There is more at stake here than 26,000 acres of pristine lakes, streams and wildlife habitat in the Pine Forest Range in Humboldt County. If this bill, which was introduced in November 2011, fails to pass, Jeffress notes, "it will be very difficult to get diverse user groups or individuals to engage in future collaborative assessment and planning processes. The delegation knows and understands the importance and ancillary impacts of this legislation."
As Humboldt County Commission Chairman Mike Bell noted recently in a letter to the editor,"The Pine Forest Range Recreational Enhancement Act was not something handed down to us from Washington. It came from the people who value it most – people who sat down at a table and were able to put politics aside and constructively come to a solution that would benefit all. The act creates some wilderness in places that deserve it most, and releases some in other areas that don’t quite measure up to that designation. In short, this is common-sense legislation worthy of passage."