FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kristina Johnson
Senate Poised to Protect Wilderness, Scenic Rivers, Parks
Washington, D.C.- The Senate is preparing this week to vote on an expansive lands protection package that would safeguard millions of acres of new wilderness, protect hundreds of miles of rivers, expand Everglades National Park, and protect critical habitat in Wyoming from oil and gas leasing. On Sunday, January 11, the Senate voted 66-12 to move the package forward. A vote on final passage will likely occur later this week.
The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 protects more than two million acres of wilderness in eight states, including the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, Oregon’s Mt. Hood, and Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.
"This would be the greatest expansion of America's wilderness system in 15 years," said Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope. "This is our chance to protect the best of what's left and pass on a legacy to future generations."
The bill codifies the 26-million-acre National Landscape Conservation System, protects hundreds of miles of free-flowing rivers in six states, and designates numerous new National Scenic Trails, Natural Historic Sites, and, National Heritage Areas across the United States. It also protects over a million acres of key hunting and fishing grounds on the Wyoming Range from oil and gas drilling.
"Wilderness, rivers, trails and parks support important tourist economies across the country," said Pope. "If we hope to keep the tourist dollars and jobs that outdoor recreation generates, we need to keep these places safe from unchecked industrial development."
Overview of the Omnibus Lands Package:
The package includes five important ocean protections:
1. NOAA Undersea Research Program Act
Wilderness Protection includes:
1. Wild Monongahela Wilderness - WV