Committee Passes Helium Legislation, 11 Public Lands Bills

June 18, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today applauded the committee’s passage of eleven public lands bills that would protect wilderness areas, increase access to wild lands and scenic rivers and expand the boundaries of national parks.

“You don’t get these kinds of bipartisan measures passed unless people are willing to work together. They’re not going to happen by osmosis,” Wyden said. “I appreciate the cooperation shown by my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get these bills this far. Now it’s time to translate this bipartisanship to the Senate floor to start passing these bills through the Senate.”

The committee also passed legislation sponsored by Wyden and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, that would continue access to the Federal Helium Reserve, while ensuring a smooth transition from federal to private ownership. After 10 years, the bill would require the federal helium program to close and sell off any remaining assets.

The committee has now passed 62 bills since the beginning of the 113th Congress.

The full list of bills passed by voice vote is below:

  • S. 28, a bill to provide for the conveyance of a small parcel of National Forest System land in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah to Brigham Young University, and for other purposes
  • S. 155, a bill to designate a mountain in the State of Alaska as Denali (Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, asked to be recorded as voting no)
  • S. 159, a bill to designate the Wovoka Wilderness and provide for certain land conveyances in Lyon County, Nevada, and for other purposes
  • S. 255, a bill to withdraw certain Federal land and interests in that land from location, entry, and patent under the mining laws and disposition under the mineral and geothermal leasing laws
  • S. 285, a bill to designate the Valles Caldera National Preserve as a unit of the National Park System, and for other purposes (Senators Tim Scott, R-S.C., Mike Lee, R-Utah, James Risch, R-Idaho, John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Portman asked to be recorded as voting no)
  • S. 327, a bill to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to enter into cooperative agreements with State foresters authorizing State foresters to provide certain forest, rangeland, and watershed restoration and protection services
  • S. 340, a bill to provide for the settlement of certain claims under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and for other purposes
  • S. 341, a bill to designate certain lands in San Miguel, Ouray, and San Juan Counties, Colorado, as wilderness, and for other purposes (Senators Portman, Scott, Lee, Risch, Barrasso, Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and John Hoeven, R-N.D., asked to be recorded as voting no)
  • S. 353, a bill to designate certain land in the State of Oregon as wilderness, to make additional wild and scenic river designations in the State of Oregon, and for other purposes
  • S. 360, a bill to amend the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 to expand the authorization of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, and the Interior to provide service opportunities for young Americans; help restore the nation's natural, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational and scenic resources; train a new generation of public land managers and enthusiasts; and promote the value of public service (Scott, Risch, Flake, Portman, Lee and Barrasso asked to be recorded as voting no)
  • S. 486, a bill to authorize pedestrian and motorized vehicular access in Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area, and for other purposes
  • S. 783, a bill to amend the Helium Act to improve helium stewardship, and for other purposes