What Do You Think?
Below is an article from the March 29, 2003 issue of the The Times-Standard newspaper in Eureka, California.

What do you think? Do we need the restrictions of Wilderness Areas on more public land in California? If you are in good shape so you can hike into these areas to hunt, are you for this? If you are 50+ and have reached the point that a 10-mile hike to hunt is not possible, are you against losing public land to hunt?

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Bill pushes for more wilderness

A bill introduced Thursday by U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson would make hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands into wilderness areas.

The Napa Democrat's bill is a companion to one introduced by U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat. If passed, the Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act would add to wilderness areas in the Trinity Alps, the Kings Range National Conservation Area, the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness Area and make some 5,700 acres of the Mad River Buttes wilderness.

"Our First Congressional District has increased in population by over 100,000 since the last California wilderness bill was signed into law in 1984," Thompson said. "It is of great importance to preserve these national treasures for future generations to enjoy."

The wilderness designation precludes development and commercial activities, as well as vehicle access. It also limits firefighting activity that can be undertaken during wildfires.

Horseback riding, fishing, hiking and similar activities will still be allowed.

Among the areas the act would make wilderness:

• 5,740 acres of the Mad River Buttes in Six Rivers National Forest

• 41,614 acres in the Kings Range

• 7,100 acres around Mount Lassic

• 14,000 acres in the South Fork of the Eel

• 26,510 acres in the Trinity Alps

• 42,190 acres in the Siskiyou region

• 26,760 acres in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel

In all, including other areas, 303,924 acres would be deemed wilderness. The bill would also designate 21 miles of the Black Butte River as a Wild and Scenic River.

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