Sierra Club
Sierra Club Press Release

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November 10, 2011

Virginia Cramer, 804-225-9113 x 102

Treasures of America's Outdoors Recognized, Recommended for Protection

Washington, DC: Today the Obama Administration released a report highlighting some of our nation’s most unique and valuable wild places. Based on recommendations from state and local officials, tribal leaders, and congressional representatives, the report urges protections for 18 wilderness areas in nine states.

In response Frances Hunt, Director of the Sierra Club's Resilient Habitats campaign issued the following statement.

"As this report demonstrates, Americans have an amazing and diverse natural heritage worthy of Congressional protection. The widespread support for the special places identified in the report, and for dozens of others across the country, is a reminder of the value of wild places for our families, communities, and economy. This report is an opportunity. We urge Congress to move forward these recommendations from the Department of Interior, to honor and protect these areas as Wilderness.

"The future of some of our most cherished lands should not be jeopardized by Congressional gridlock. President Obama has an opportunity to look beyond politics and listen to the American people. Utilizing a tool like the Antiquities Act, Mr. Obama can take the reins to protect special places like Boulder-White Clouds and Devil's Staircase for future generations to explore and enjoy. Today's report is but a sample of the opportunities available for this administration to save some of our last wild places.

"From providing drinking water for millions of Americans and habitat for iconic wildlife, to recreation opportunities like whitewater rafting down the Rogue River, protecting our public lands benefits us all. History demonstrates the wisdom and value of protecting our special places; we look forward to the Obama administration's continuing work to build a conservation legacy that safeguards our nation's wildlife, clean air, and healthy waters. With the outdoor recreation industry recently valued at over $1 trillion, our natural heritage, communities, and economies depend on keeping places wild for us to explore, enjoy, and protect."