Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Oregon Badlands Wilderness: Senate Hearings Begin

Former Deschutes County Commissioner Swearingen Joins Oregon Natural Desert Association for Meetings with Congressional Leadership in Washington D.C.

(BEND, OR) Today in Washington D.C., members of the Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests heard testimony on the Oregon Badlands Wilderness Act (S. 3088), introduced last month by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). Oregon Natural Desert Association’s executive director Brent Fenty and wilderness coordinator Gena Goodman-Campbell, as well as former Sisters mayor and Deschutes County commissioner Linda Swearingen, submitted testimony at the hearing, and are in Washington this week to meet with key congressional leadership concerning the wilderness bill.

“Protecting the Badlands — the high desert gem in our backyard — just makes good sense,” says Swearingen. “Wilderness areas help boost the local economy, and offer the chance to get away from the rush of our daily lives. And the way Bend is growing, it's important that we protect the Badlands while we still have the chance.”

The Public Lands and Forest Subcommittee also heard testimony on Sen. Wyden’s Spring Basin Wilderness Act (S. 3089), which will protect more than 8,600 acres overlooking the John Day Wild and Scenic River. At the hearing, Senator Smith announced that he would like to cosponsor the bill with Senator Wyden.

“With the overwhelming support behind these wilderness designations, our hope is that these bills will move quickly through committee hearings,” says Fenty. “We salute Senator Wyden for championing these conservation measures, and look forward to working with him and Senator Smith to see the Oregon Badlands and Spring Basin added to America’s National Wilderness Preservation System, forever protected for future generations to enjoy.”

For more about the Oregon Badlands and Spring Basin Wilderness and the Oregon Natural Desert Association, go to

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