Today is a splendid day for America’s special places: the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 easily passed in the House, 285-140. This big, bipartisan package of 160+ individual bills will ensure the protection of important parts of our nation’s natural, cultural and historical legacy. It now goes to the President, who is expected to sign it.
Chairman Bingaman: “I can’t think of a single bill that has ever done more to ensure the enjoyment of, and access to, wilderness areas, historic sites, national parks, forests, rivers, trails, public lands and water resources. Altogether, it is one of the most sweeping conservation laws that Congress has passed in many, many years.”
Sen. Murkowski: “I’m happy to see that this important lands bill is finally on its way to the president. This bill designates those parts of our natural landscape and historical structures that deserve protection. I believe that we, as a nation, can maximize the development of our domestic energy resources while protecting our nation’s other natural resources and wilderness. While each individual bill in this package is not the kind of thing that makes national headlines, as a whole, it is clearly important enough to justify the time that this body has committed to it. This bill is especially important in the West, where simple real estate transactions that are taken for granted in the East, often literally take an act of Congress.”
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