Bipartisan Public Lands Renewable Energy Development bills get hearings in Congress

Corey Fisher, July 26, 2014


In this day and age, it’s not often that folks from both sides of the political spectrum can get together and support a proposal affecting public lands. It’s even rarer to have congressmen from both parties, in both houses of Congress, moving legislation forward.  Yet, that’s exactly what is happening when the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act receives hearings in both House and Senate committees this week. 

One of the unique things about renewable energy development is the permanence to it. This is both good and challenging. Good because it’s a cleaner, sustainable source of energy that can’t be used up in the same way as fossil fuels. Challenging because once a solar field or wind farm goes in, it’s there for the long haul.

This necessitates smart planning.


National Forests Support Recreation Economy

Frank Sturges
Every year, over 160 million visitors head to our National Forests and Grasslands. Outdoor recreation enthusiasts contribute more to the economy than anything else the U.S. Forest Service does—more even than timber, grazing, and mineral development combined.
Tapping our public lands for economic value should emphasize the benefits of the recreation economy rather than shortsighted timber harvest expansions that can harm our landscapes.
Visitors come to National Forests to hunt and fish, bike and hike, view wildlife, and paddle some of our most incredible rivers. Some head outdoors simply to de-stress and relax. While they’re doing that, though, they are making jobs and providing an economic boost.

Sportsmen, wildlife advocates back bill to protect Browns Canyon bill

Wed, 07/23/2014

Photo by Susan Mayfield

By Judith Kohler

DENVER  –   Sportsmen’s and wildlife groups are urging members of Congress to support a bill that would permanently protect Colorado ’s Browns Canyon, a treasured wildlife and recreation area.

The Senate National Parks Subcommittee was scheduled Wednesday to consider S. 1794, a bill by Colorado Sen. Mark Udall that would establish the 22,000-acre Browns Canyon National Monument. The hearing represents a step forward after more than two decades of work by grassroots organizations and elected officials to conserve the nationally known whitewater rafting site and important fishing and hunting spot, National Wildlife Federation and Colorado Wildlife Federation representatives said.


Coloradans Want Browns Canyon to be the Next National Monument

Judith Kohler
For Bill Dvorak, permanent protection for southern Colorado’s Browns Canyon has been a long time coming. Dvorak is the National Wildlife Federation’s public lands organizer in Colorado. He’s also one of the best-known outfitters in the state and has been leading fishing and rafting trips down the Arkansas River since the early 1980s.
Some of the best rafting runs through Browns Canyon, prized for its rugged, undeveloped terrain that is at the same time easily accessible to Colorado’s populous Front Range. It’s among the country’s top whitewater destinations. Activities on the river generated an estimated $55.7 million in economic benefits last year, according to the Colorado River Outfitters’ Association.