A bill to create 177,800 more acres of protected wilderness on Mount Hood as well as the nation's first wildernesslike mountain biking zone was scheduled for introduction in the U.S. Senate today by Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden.
The Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness Act of 2004 comes on the final day before the Senate adjourns for its August recess -- and, significantly, without the stated support of Wyden's Oregon colleague, Republican Sen. Gordon Smith, who declined comment Wednesday.
Chances are slim the Hood wilderness legislation will advance this year, Wyden said Wednesday. And he acknowledged the bill won't survive the Senate without Smith's endorsement.
"Realistically, what I'd like to do is get a hearing in the fall and work with the delegation," Wyden said. "Senator Smith and I have spent a lot of time in discussions."