Finally! A Victory for Public Lands!
We’ve waited a long time for a significant victory for our public lands…
Over the last five years, it’s been one thing after another threatening to take the character and beauty from our public lands. From fossil fuel development occurring at an unprecedented rate and conducted rashly and irresponsibly to dirty mining and threats to sell-off public lands for short term gains, public lands have been abused and all but forgotten as the national treasure they truly are.
Almost 1/3 of the United States is public lands — lands held in trust by all Americans that provide vital habitat for our wildlife, clean water and open space for recreation. They are also lands we will pass on to our children, and our children’s children to experience.
Last week the senate passed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, which contains more than 160 separate public lands bills, most of which will expand the protection of our public lands. The Act will provide the largest expansion of the National Wilderness Preservation System in 15 years, designating 2.1 million acres of permanent wilderness in nine states — California, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Michigan, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Another one of the bills in the package — the National Landscape Conservation System Act — will provide permanent protection for the first new system of conservation lands in the United States in more than 50 years. Under the National Landscape Conservation System Act, over 850 federally recognized areas covering 27 million acres of the Bureau of Land Management’s most spectacular land and waters will be protected permanently.
The Act now moves to House of Representatives, which is expected to consider it in the coming weeks. Visit www.OurPublicLands.org for more information.Originally Posted on NWF.org