Senate Passes New Mexico Wilderness Legislation as Part of a Package of ENR Bills 



(Note: ENR means "Energy and Natural Resources." Note how quickly this proceeded, after the elections. Few, if any, politicians dared do anything to curtail energy production that might rock the vote boat before Election Day. More control has been taken over the natural resources under federal ownership)



November 17, 2006

For Immediate Release

Contact: Marnie Funk or 202-224-6977

United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


Washington, D.C. - Just hours after Chairman Pete Domenici and Ranking Member Jeff Bingaman announced their agreement to push for Senate passage of HR.3817, the Senate passed the measure to add new protections for almost 102,000 acres of federal land in New Mexico. The bill prohibits energy and mineral development on some of the most scenic and pristine land in New Mexico.

The Senate approved HR.3817 Thursday night by unanimous consent, following work by Domenici and Bingaman to gain clearance to move the House-passed bill in the Senate without a committee hearing.  The bill now goes to President Bush for his consideration.

"I made this bill my top priority this week. I am pleased the Senate moved swiftly and I am confident the President will sign this bill. Valle Vidal will continue to be one of the most beautiful and pristine corners of New Mexico," Domenici said. 

"This is terrific news. The Valle Vidal is a beautiful part of New Mexico that deserves to be protected. I'm very glad we able to get Senate support for this bill so that we could send it to the president," Bingaman said. 

HR.3817 prohibits energy or mineral development on the 101,794 acres that comprise the Valle Vidal Unit of the Carson National Forest in New Mexico.  The Valle Vidal is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The property was transferred to the federal government by the Penzoil (sic) Co. in 1982. While natural gas production occurs on the adjacent Vermejo Ranch, energy production has never occurred on the Valle Vidal.

The Senate also passed the following bills from the Energy Committee: 


S.2028: A bill to provide for the reinstatement of a license for a certain Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) project.

H.R. 1492: To provide for the preservation of the historic confinement sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II, and for other purposes.

H.R. 4000: To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to revise certain repayment contracts with the Bostwick Irrigation District in Nebraska, the Kansas Bostwick Irrigation District No. 2, the Frenchman-Cambridge Irrigation District, and the Webster Irrigation District No. 4, all a part of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program, and for other purposes.

H.R. 4377: To extend the time required for construction of a hydroelectric project, and for other purposes.

H.R. 2383: To redesignate the facility of the Bureau of Reclamation located at 19550 Kelso Road in Byron, California, as the "C.W. `Bill' Jones Pumping Plant."




Additional researched reading:





Carson National Forest, Projects and Plans, Valle Vidal and