Singer-activist Carole King to testify on U.S. wilderness legislation

To singer and environmental activist Carole King, a bill in the U.S. Congress that aims to create more protected wilderness in Idaho doesn't go far enough in making sure the land is actually safe.

Next week, King will head to Washington, D.C., to lobby against the legislation sponsored by Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson.

"Any conservation group that tells you this is a wilderness bill, that's like saying a hand towel is the same as a blanket on a cold night," said the 63-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame grandmother, known for rock classics "So Far Away," "It's Too Late," and "I Feel the Earth Move."

Simpson's bill would set aside more than 300,000 acres (120,000 hectares) in the Boulder and White Cloud mountains in central Idaho as new wilderness while giving local governments millions of dollars in compensation plus an estimated 6,000 acres (2,400 hectares) in public land to develop as they see fit.

But King argues Simpson's bill doesn't get enough for what it gives away. She wants to protect a much vaster swath of the Northern Rockies _ including the Boulder and White Cloud areas _ in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming as federal wilderness.

Other opponents of the bill expected to testify include representatives of off-road vehicle enthusiasts and ranchers, AP reported. V.A.

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