Pearce says bill won’t lead to sell-off of land
U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., is taking issue with a recent guest column on this site accusing him of cosponsoring legislation that would “result in the worst sell-off of our nation’s most scenic treasures in living memory.”
The column, from New Mexico Wilderness Alliance Associate Director Nathan Newcomer, states that the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act, which Pearce is cosponsoring, would be more appropriately called “the Great Outdoors Giveaway Act.”
Not true, says Pearce’s press secretary, Jamie Dickerman. Here’s Dickerman’s full statement:
“Concerning the recent article on Congressman Pearce, titled ‘The great outdoors giveaway,’ there are some misleading and incorrect statements made.
“The bill that was referenced is H.R. 1581. Under this legislation, there is no ‘sell-off’ of land. The bill simply opens certain land to multiple uses, while keeping them under federal ownership. The Department of the Interior has studied these lands and has deemed them unsuitable for wilderness designation.
“Also, Congressman Pearce is an avid outdoorsman, who enjoys spending time on the land. He is very proud of New Mexico’s public lands, and works diligently to conserve them in the most appropriate manner possible. To suggest otherwise is not only baseless and unfair, but shows clearly that Mr. Newcomer is more interested in personal attacks than a rational discussion. Further, Rep. Pearce has previously voted in favor of wilderness designation in those cases where it was appropriate.
“Finally, Mr. Newcomer erroneously implies that BLM has not had the chance to weigh in on this legislation. In reality, the lands affected by this legislation have been reviewed by BLM and deemed inappropriate for wilderness designation.”
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