FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT:
March 15, 2013 Jon Houston, Maloney, 202-225-7944
Eben Burnham-Snyder, Markey, 202-225-2836
Adam Sarvana, Grijalva, 202-225-2435
Reps. Maloney, Grijalva, & Markey introduce the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act
–HR 1187 would designate 23 million acres and waterways in
Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming as permanent wilderness–
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), and Ed Markey (D-MA) have introduced the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA), H.R. 1187, which would protect as permanent wilderness the dwindling wildlands across five states of the Northern Rocky Mountains, one of America’s greatest natural treasures.
“We must prioritize the health of our country’s natural resources by protecting wilderness areas like the Northern Rockies ,” said Rep. Maloney. “By connecting whole ecosystems, NREPA helps preserve native plants and animals by protecting these natural habitats and mitigating the impact of climate change for current and future generations of Americans.”
“There are very few large forest landscapes like the Northern Rockies left in the United States, and at our current pace of climate change and urban sprawl, wilderness protection is the only policy that really makes sense,” said Rep. Grijalva, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. “With sequestration cutting everything in sight, it’s time to start thinking about places we shouldn’t be cutting. The Northern Rockies should be at the top of the list.”
“Preserving the few remaining large wilderness landscapes we have is critical, not only so that future generations can enjoy them, but also because these large swaths of undeveloped, undivided habitat are vital in mitigating the impacts of climate change,” said Rep. Markey, Ranking Member of the Committee on Natural Resources.
A longtime Idaho resident, singer-songwriter and activist Carole King has advocated for NREPA since the measure was first introduced in 1992. “The large scale of NREPA is essential, first, because an ecosystem doesn’t recognize state lines, and second, because NREPA will protect one of the largest areas in America in which carbon is made and stored,” King explained. “A large carbon sink has both monetary and environmental value in mitigating climate change.”
“Historically, important legislation takes a long time to pass. We thank Representatives Maloney, Grijalva, and Markey for fighting for the protection of the native ecosystems surrounding Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks,” said Mike Garrity, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.
Also co-sponsoring the legislation are Reps. Lois Capps (D-CA) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
NREPA has received bipartisan co-sponsorship in Congress and broad support from environmental and business groups who recognize the value of preserving the region’s natural beauty. In the 111th Congress, the Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands held a legislative hearing on NREPA (H.R. 980 in the 111th Congress). http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=165667
More NREPA information is available at Rep. Maloney’s NREPA page: