(Washington,D.C.) - U.S. Reps. CharlesBass and Jeb Bradley (R-NH) today vowed to continue pushing for House passageof legislation that would designate over 34,000 acres of the White MountainNational Forest (WMNF) as "wilderness." On Friday, the U.S.Senate passed similar legislation, but it was not taken up in the House beforethe session ended in the early hours of the morning.
The legislation will create a newwilderness area of approximately 23,700 acres in size in the Wild River Valley in the Gorham area and will expand theexisting wilderness area in the SandwichRange by 10,800acres. Both wilderness areas were proposed in the WMNF plan and requireCongressional action in order to be established.
"Expanding the wilderness areas along the WildRiver and Sandwich Rangewill permanently designate some of the forest's most sensitive andsplendid landscapes," said Bass. "All the stakeholder andadvocacy groups in New Hampshire deserveenormous credit, along with the White Mountain Forest Service staff, forworking together to craft this recommended addition to the Granite State'scrown jewel of the outdoors. When we reconvene, I believe that theCongress will consider the importance of this project and recognize ourstate's hard work by granting the additional consideration necessary toensure the bill's passage."
Bradley stated, "I have hiked the Wild Riverand Sandwich Rangeareas of the White Mountains and know thatthey are truly deserving of this wilderness designation. A wildernessdesignation adds additional protections to areas that are among the mostbeautiful and unique in the White Mountains. I remain confident that the House will take up this legislation when wereconvene in November, which will enable us to preserve these areas for futuregenerations to be able to enjoy."
Both Bass and Bradley have been workingwith the Vermont Congressional Delegation to push for House consideration ofthe bill. The legislation also contains provisions to expand wildernessareas in the Green Mountain National Forestin Vermont.