Mar 30 2009

Environmental Legislation Most Significant in US History

wilderness coalitionBoth houses of Congress recently passed a Wilderness Conservation Bill, setting aside more than 2 million acres of land in nine states, in a move that has been hailed as a “new dawn for American heritage.” Seen as the most significant environmental legislation in the history of the United States, the Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009 will regenerate forests, protect rivers, extend the national park system, and stand guard over historic battlefields. Former President Clinton passed a law in early 2001 in his last month in office, protecting 60 million acres of national forest land from logging and oil exploration. But within months, the newly inaugurated President George W. Bush rescinded the roadless area protection rule. There is Republican opposition to the new bill also: the GOP is seems to be barking up its version of the environmental tree by claiming the proposed new areas could not be used for wind and solar energy projects if protected. Environmentalists, although supportive of the new bill, are concerned about a provision to accommodate an airport access road through the Alaskan Izembek National Wildlife Refuge that critics call a “road to nowhere.” The President is expected to sign the bill into law today.

GUEST: Ryan Henson, California Wilderness Coalition

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One Response to “Environmental Legislation Most Significant in US History”

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