1978 Scorecard Vote
H.R. 39. The vote is on the Meeds amendment which would have cut the wilderness area in half, from 66 million acres down to 33 million acres. The heaviest cuts were in the proposed wildlife refuges because these areas were closed off to oil and gas leasing under the Udall bill. The Arctic National Wildlife Range lost its wilderness status because of its high oil and gas potential. (Most other areas with suspected mineral, oil or gas deposits had already been excluded from the wilderness in the Udall bill.) While Udall gave immediate wilderness status to Admiralty Island and other heavily forested areas in Southeast Alaska, Meeds removed all wilderness in the Southeast. He said the decisions should be postponed until certain studies were completed, and directed whomever was then President to recommend 6.5 million acres for wilderness somewhere in Southeast Alaska. Instead of seeking to protect those areas most important for wildlife, Meeds was clearly hoping that wilderness would be confined to the areas with least valuable commercial timber. His amendment also took out the wilderness in the Noatak River basin. The Carter Administration joined with environmentalists in lobbying against the amendment. Amendment rejected 119-240. May 18, 1978. NO is the correct vote.