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Welch Supports Passage of Wilderness Act of 2006 as a 'Gift to Our Future'

Location: Burlington, VT

Welch Supports Passage of Wilderness Act of 2006 as a 'Gift to Our Future'

Senate President Pro Tem Peter Welch, candidate for U.S. Congress, issued the following statement in support of the New England Wilderness Act of 2006, which the U.S. Senate passed unanimously last night:

"Our congressional delegation deserves praise from Vermonters for demonstrating a continued commitment to Vermont's future and protection of open land. I believe the New England Wilderness Act strikes a good compromise and meaningful balance between the many interests in the use of our National Forest.

"This proposal is an act of balance, an act of improving access, an act of critical foresight for future generations. It reflects the extensive public input that included over 70 meetings and 10,000 public comments. I strongly encourage its successful passage in the U.S. House.

"Through the creation of 48,000 acres of additional wilderness and a new National Recreation Area, Vermonters will be given a greater opportunity to have access to undeveloped and truly wild land. It is a gift to our future. As our hunters, hikers, anglers, and other outdoor recreationalists find it increasingly difficult to find true open space to enjoy, the creation of land protected as forever wild for such uses will help preserve these important Vermont traditions.

"I support the work our delegation has done on this Act. When in Congress, I will carry on the long tradition of environmental stewardship we have come to expect from our representatives in Washington. I will strive to lead with conviction and foresight as our Congressional delegation does today and as great wilderness leaders George Aiken and Robert Stafford did in the past.

"Wilderness preservation should be balanced with continued snowmobile access and active, responsible forest management on other Green Mountain National Forest lands. A vibrant forest products industry is an important component of our rural economy, enhanced through local production and value-added services."

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