The Friendly Federation

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Southeast Federation
of Mineralogical Societies, Inc.


November 21,2008

Senate Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid had planned to bring this bill before the Senate for a vote during the “lame duck session” following the national elections, but with the threat of a filibuster and economic issues deemed more urgent, he decided to pull the bill for the time being.  There is still a slim chance that the Omnibus Land Bill could  be acted on, but since this is a bi-partisan bill, it may be allowed to die and a more liberal version conceivably written next year.  In the mean time we may still have a small window of opportunity to let our congressional men and women know that we are opposed to this legislation.

January 16, 2009



Alphabetical by Senator Name

Akaka (D-HI), Yea
Alexander (R-TN), Yea
Barrasso (R-WY), Yea
Baucus (D-MT), Yea
Bayh (D-IN), Yea
Begich (D-AK), Yea
Bennett (R-UT), Yea
Biden (D-DE), Not Voting
Bingaman (D-NM), Yea
Bond (R-MO), Yea
Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Brown (D-OH), Not Voting
Brownback (R-KS), Nay
Bunning (R-KY), Not Voting
Burr (R-NC), Nay
Byrd (D-WV), Yea
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Cardin (D-MD), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Chambliss (R-GA), Nay
Clinton (D-NY), Yea
Coburn (R-OK), Nay
Cochran (R-MS), Yea
Collins (R-ME), Yea
Conrad (D-ND), Yea
Corker (R-TN), Yea
Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
Crapo (R-ID), Yea
DeMint (R-SC), Nay
Dodd (D-CT), Yea
Dorgan (D-ND), Yea
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Ensign (R-NV), Nay
Enzi (R-WY), Yea
Feingold (D-WI), Yea
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Graham (R-SC), Nay
Grassley (R-IA), Nay
Gregg (R-NH), Yea
Hagan (D-NC), Yea
Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Hatch (R-UT), Yea
Hutchison (R-TX), Nay
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Inouye (D-HI), Yea
Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Johanns (R-NE), Nay
Johnson (D-SD), Yea
Kennedy (D-MA), Not Voting
Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Kyl (R-AZ), Nay
Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea
Leahy (D-VT), Yea
Levin (D-MI), Yea
Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Martinez (R-FL), Yea
McCain (R-AZ), Nay
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Nay
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
Merkley (D-OR), Yea
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Pryor (D-AR), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Risch (R-ID), Yea
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Salazar (D-CO), Yea
Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shaheen (D-NH), Yea
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Specter (R-PA), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Tester (D-MT), Yea
Thune (R-SD), Nay
Udall (D-CO), Yea
Udall (D-NM), Yea
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Voinovich (R-OH), Yea
Warner (D-VA), Yea
Webb (D-VA), Yea
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
Wicker (R-MS), Yea
Wyden (D-OR), Yea

It is still in the House of Representatives and I strongly suspect that they will act on it right away.


December 2008



John M. Wright, RPG

AFMS  Conservation & Legislation Chairman

 By the time you read this article the national elections should be over and regardless of the outcome we are going to be facing the possibilities of significant changes in our access to public lands.  The senate has before it a bi-partisan package known as the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2008.  This Act is a sweeping package that contains numerous “bills”

that will add millions of acres of new wilderness and other public lands to the areas now under government protection.   

 Senate  Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid may call the Senate back for a “lame duck session” to vote on this bill after the national elections.  Since this is a bi-partisan bill, it may be allowed to die if the Democrats win a substantial number of seats and a more liberal version  could conceivably be written next year.

 Besides the thousands of acres that will be added to the Wilderness Areas and National Parks, a new entity will be established known as the National Landscape Conservation System. This will essentially place an additional  26 million acres of public lands to be controlled by BLM under a “National Park” type system which will eliminate or severely limit any type of recreational mining.  The public lands that are designated as Wilderness Areas are already “off limits” for all practical purposes for most  types of recreational activity. The Paleontological Resources Preservation Act, HR554, which was resurrected again earlier this year and approved by committee, could conceivably be added to the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2008.

 The Wilderness Act of 1964 originally consisted of  9.1 million acres of national forest wilderness areas.  As of 2004, the Wilderness System comprises over 107 million acres involving federal lands administered by four agencies: the National Park Service (43,616,250 acres), U.S. Forest Service (34,867,591 acres), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (20,699,108 acres), and Bureau of Land Management (6,512,227 acres)   for a total of : 107,436,608 acres.  Using these figures as a reference, I think we can safely assume the areas set aside for The National Landscape Conservation System will grow accordingly and the Palentological Resources  Preservation Act, if passed into law, will be substantially expanded over the coming years.

 The environmentalists are also working diligently at having states and large private land owners convert their properties into wilderness areas similar to the ones owned by the U.S. government.  The environmentalists are well organized and financed, which in many cases allows them to exert considerable pressure on land owners.  This is going to further limit many areas that can be used for recreational purposes.



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