"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

Passage of the omnibus

It took a long time, but to get a sense of how big the omnibus lands bill – just today passed the House, following Senate action – actually is, visit the HR 146 text page and scroll down it. (It does include a few non-lands measures as well.) You may be scrolling for a while. (There seems to be no doubt that President Barack Obama will sign it.)

Most of the Northwest’s delegation voted in favor, excepting only two Washington House Republicans, Doc Hastings and Cathy McMorris-Rodgers. The Oregon and Idaho unity stemmed from the inclusion of significant projects in both of those states.

The big one in Oregon will be the Mount Hood wilderness status, which most of the delegation has been pushing on for years, and in Idaho the Owyhee Canyonlands, where Senator Mike Crapo took the lead. But there are also a bunch of others; Oregon’s alone includes updated versions of what once were seven separate lands bills Senator Ron Wyden had introduced over the years. This is a big development, and surely one of the major pieces of legislation to pass this year.

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