The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to grant wilderness status to two million acres of public land in nine states from California to West Virginia, the largest expansion of protected national wild lands in 15 years.The Omnibus Public Land Management Act, which has already been passed by the Senate and is expected to be signed by President Obama, was approved in the House by a 285-to-140 vote.
“It gives higher protection to environmentally sensitive, outright beautiful lands that deserve protection,” Ms. Bono Mack said. She was one of 38 Republicans voting in favor.The bill, an amalgam of more than 160 proposals, expands the nation’s protected wilderness areas, which receive the highest level of protection from development, vehicles and commercial activities like logging and drilling, to 109 million acres.
Among the lands winning protection:
470,00 acres in the San Gabriel Mountains in California.
517,000 acres in the Canyonlands
11,799 acres of Lake Superior shoreline
1.2 million acres of the Wyoming range are shielded from oil and gas drilling
It also protects more than 1,000 miles of scenic rivers and streams from commercial development and creates new conservation areas and national parks.
It is the largest amount of acreage added to the wilderness system since 1994. Sometimes the good guys win.
Friday, March 27, 2009
A Wilderness Win
Wilderness bill Clears the House shouts the headline of the New York Times. For once a headline that generates good feelings and hope instead of dire predictions and gloom. Our letter hopefully played a part in its passage.