Massive Omnibus public lands bill killed by filibuster threat

Senator Coburn (R-OK) threatens filibuster. Reid pulls omnibus public lands bill-

There was a lot of good and bad in this bill, but it is dead; and some of the good areas won’t be around to save in a year or two when this comes up again in some form.

Public lands bill looks dead for year. By Matthew Daly. Associated Press Writer






  1. john weis Avatar
    john weis

    Typical Oklahoma politician. I spent my first 18 years living in that state: the people there have very dense heads. And maybe an acre or two of public lands. What the hell do they really care? Both of the Oklahoma senators could disappear from the face of the earth and the world would be a better place for it.

  2. Jeff Avatar

    My relatives are all Okies…stereotypes usually are worth the paper they are written on. Oklahoma has National Forest, National Grasslands, and one of the first USFWS refuges. Do I agree with all my relatives on the issues, probably not. What in the bill did Coburn object to? Omnibus bills by design are usually bad.

  3. Buffaloed Avatar

    Frankly, this is a very good thing. The public lands bill was a piece of crap that would have taken protection away from lands rather than provide more. The Owyhee Initiative was a bad deal that ranchers were just salivating over so they could build more fences, water troughs, and pipelines which would further destroy the uplands. The Initiative would have only protected the canyons which the cattle couldn’t reach.

  4. Brian Ertz Avatar

    The Owyhee portion of the bill really teaches us that wilderness has more to do with human restraint than with an unfettered human ambition that would hand over the ruination so many otherwise already protected lands to the most pervasively ecologically destructive land use in the west, allow grazing and fencing of much of the land designated, fund industry “science”, and give undue influence over all adjacent public lands to a Livestock board – all in exchange for buckshot/fragmented big ‘W’ “wilderness”, much of which is already small ‘w’ wilderness/protected as a function of its inaccessibility. i guess the ‘net benefit’ on this one is that it gives some right-wing politician and a couple of fundraisers their legacy on a map.

    I apologize for my lack of restraint.

    For folk who don’t understand why there would be so much controversy – I encourage you to visit Owyhee and hike around – you might see something like this for miles and miles.

    Experiencing these conditions on the ground are what make it a whole lot more difficult to swallow the “compromise” by keeping it in some conceptual realm of weighing the “pros” and “cons”. please visit the landscape.

    This landscape has been severely abused – and this “wilderness” bill gives these people more tools to keep muddying the waters to prevent much needed change on all of the public lands in the area.

    They should rip the Owyhee portion of the omnibus bill out on the next round, there are good things in the bill — but putting it in an package like this is the worst kind of political ‘wheeling & dealing’.

  5. Wyo Native Avatar
    Wyo Native

    This is a complete failure on the part of Harry Reid, and this is exactly why he should not be the Majority leader in the Senate.

    This omnibus bill should never have included the Snake River Wild and Scenic Act and the Wyoming Range Legacy Act. Our Senator Barrasso had enough support to prevent a fillibuster, and these bills would have passed.

    But now we don’t have either place protected, and I truly have to wonder if Reid really wanted these areas to be protected, Especially since it was Republican Senators practicing “Conservation” as Sponsor and Co-Sponsor of these bills.

    It will be absolutely devistating to see drilling rigs in the Wyoming Range, and I guarantee they will be there within less than a year. Remember the Wyoming Range is part of the 68 million acres of existing leases the Congressional Dems were preaching about earlier this year.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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