Bill to create new wilderness in West defeated |

Bill to create new wilderness in West defeated

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

WASHINGTON ” A massive lands bill that would have created new wilderness areas in five Western states is likely dead for the year.

Supporters said Friday that the bipartisan bill apparently fell victim to a filibuster threat by a Republican senator. The measure would expand wilderness along Oregon’s Mount Hood and create a vast new wilderness in Idaho’s Owyhee canyons, among other projects.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Nevada Democrat strongly supports the lands package, but his first priorities in a lame-duck session next week are a planned rescue for the auto industry and extension of unemployment insurance benefits.

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn had threatened to filibuster the bill over what he calls its excessive spending.

The bill also would have created wilderness areas in California, Colorado and New Mexico.

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