FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2008
Contact: Kristina Johnson
House Passes National Landscape Conservation System Act
Wilderness, Monuments, Historic Trails, Scenic Rivers Protected
Washington, D.C.-In a victory for America’s public lands, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 277-140 today to pass HR 2016, the National Landscape Conservation System Act.
The Act formally recognizes and protects 26 million acres of Bureau of Land Management terrain, including 15 national monuments, 13 national conservation areas, thousands of important cultural sites, and historic trails, mountains, wild and scenic rivers, and wilderness areas. National treasures such as Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the Sonoran Desert, Oregon’s lower Deschutes River, and stretches of the Pacific Crest and Continental Divide trails are part of the System.
"Some of our best public lands are part of this system, from red rock desert to high alpine trails and stunning coastlines. Protecting this network of lands helps secure America’s wild legacy," said Sierra Club representative Keren Murphy. "Thanks to this legislation, Americans will be able to camp, hike, hunt and fish in these wild places for generations to come."
Though the National Landscape Conservation System was created administratively eight years ago, the 860 disparate units in the System have still not enjoyed uniform designations or protections. Some parts of the system were created by states, others by various departments of the federal government. Today’s legislation formalizes the System and unifies lands within it.