I want to report on certain political developments in the Big Sky states which will help to illuminate why 1994 was such a dismal year for national legislation relating to Montana natural resources by emphasizing the ongoing wilderness debate. Representative Pat Williams (D-Mont.), who fist won election to the House of Representatives in 1978, developed, introduced and skillfully shepherded through the House a wilderness bill that would have created approximately 1.7 million acres of new wilderness. The legislation would also have released much land for multiple use, particularly for resource development, and would have designated considerable additional acreage for further study of its suitability for inclusion in the wilderness system. Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) soon thereafter introduced the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, a multi-state wilderness bill which was allegedly premised on ecosystem needs rather than state boundaries. The measure received a hearing; however, the Williams legislation easily .eclipsed the broader bill.

Document Type


Publication Date