Washington (AP) - The Senate is moving forward on a much-debated bill to set aside more than 2 million acres in nine states as protected wilderness.
Senators endorsed the bill Monday on a test vote, setting up a vote on final approval later this week. seventy-three senators voted to go forward with the bill, 13 more than the 60 votes needed.
The senate approved the bill in January, but it was defeated last week in the house amid a partisan dispute over a plan to allow concealed weapons in national parks.
The package of legislation would confer the government's highest level of protection on land including Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and California's Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.
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