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Possible Vote on Wild Sky Today

Posted by Jonathan Guzzo at Apr 10, 2008 10:40 AM |

Bear Mountain would be preserved in the Wild Sky WildernessUpdate: We just received word that the Wild Sky Wilderness just passed the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly by 91-4.

At the end of today, the Wild Sky Wilderness could be one giant step closer to becoming a reality -- and the first new Wilderness designation in the state of Washington since 1984.

The wait has been long and grueling, but if the Senate acts today, Wild Sky could pass the Senate for the fourth time.  It would then go to the House of Representatives for action.  Since it passed the House last year, it would likely move quickly there.  Then, Wild Sky would finally go to the President for his signature, which Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey has indicated is forthcoming.

Passage of Wild Sky would add more than 100,000 acres to Washington's allotment of designated Wilderness.  More importantly, it would add important low-elevation wildlife habitat to the system, in which high-country meadows and rock-and-ice peaks are heavily represented.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled two hours of debate on an omnibus package of land-preservation bills which includes Wild Sky, most likely followed by a vote on the package.  Senator Tom Coburn, of Oklahoma, has held up final passage of the omnibus bill by proposing four amendments one of which would reverse a Reagan administration rule banning loaded and assembled firearms in National Parks.

Check the Signpost Blog for more information on the progress of Wild Sky throughout the day.