Anti-Enviro California Rep Blocks Wilderness Designation

For years, citizens, enviro groups, and Washington state lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have worked together to craft compromise legislation to create the Wild Sky Wilderness Area, a 106,000-acre swath of Washington’s Cascade Mountains. The resulting bill has passed the U.S. Senate twice, unanimously. It now appears, however, that the bill will be prevented from passing the House by Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.), chair of the House Resources Committee and a longtime foe of enviros. Pombo recently sent a letter to fellow Republican Rep. George Nethercutt (Wash.), an advocate for the bill, saying that he could not “in good conscience” press forward with the measure because the proposed wilderness contains within it a 16,000-acre area with “nonwilderness characteristics.” What nonwilderness characteristics? Well, long ago it was logged and mined, and some roads remain. Because of this, Pombo says he will only consider other forms of protection short of wilderness, protections that could … wait for it … allow further logging and mining.