Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Public Lands Sell-Off Pulled From House Budget; Statement of Velma Smith, National Environmental Trust

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a
statement of Velma Smith, mining campaign director,
National Environmental Trust:

"America's treasured public lands got an early holiday
present today when Congressman Gibbons announced that
he would retract his land giveaway plan from the
House's budget bill.

"Much-needed reform to the nation's 1872 mining law
should occur in full public view. The stakes are
simply too high to propose sweeping sales of national
treasures behind closed doors and with no debate. The
outpouring of support on both sides of the aisle and
among diverse interests showed the public's high
regard for its national parks, national forests and
other public lands."


This afternoon, Rep. Jim Gibbons announced he was
withdrawing his bid to overhaul the nation's mining
law as part of the House's budget reconciliation bill.
His statement can be seen on the Internet at
http://wwwc.house.gov/gibbons/display- pr.asp?id=1800

Republican and Democratic lawmakers, and a broad
coalition of interests had announced opposition to
mining title in the House bill, saying it amounted to
a fire sale of millions of acres of public lands.

For more information, visit http://www.net.org .



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