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Pivotal Conservation Bill Passes March 26, 2009

Posted by surfair in Environment.
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Congress approves landmark conservation bill

Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:14am EDT

By Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic-led U.S. Congress gave final approval on Wednesday to sweeping land and water conservation legislation that environmental groups praised as one of the most significant in U.S. history. The measure, a package of more than 160 bills, would set aside about 2 million acres — parks, rivers, streams, desert, forest and trails — in nine states as new wilderness and render them off limits to oil and gas drilling and other development. The House of Representatives approved the measure on a vote of 285-140 a week after it cleared the Senate, capping years of wrangling and procedural roadblocks. It now goes to President Barack Obama to sign into law, which he is expected to do swiftly. “I can’t think of a single bill that has ever done more to ensure the enjoyment of, and access to, wilderness areas (and) historic sites,” said Democratic Senator Jeff Bingaman who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Opponents, most of them Republican, complained the legislation would deny access for oil and gas drilling and said House Democrats refused to hippy-on-bikeconsider changes. The 2 million acres that would be designated as new wilderness are mostly in California, followed by Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia, New Mexico and Michigan. Separately, the legislation would permanently protect and restore a 26 million-acre (10.5 million-hectare) system composed of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s most historic and scenic lands and waters, including the Canyons of the Ancients in Colorado and Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas. Environmental and historic groups praised the legislation. “Future generations will look back at this day as a major milestone in our nation’s conservation history,” said William Meadows, president of the Wilderness Society. “It has been a long and difficult road, but today, Congress acted on behalf of hunters and anglers who understand the need for intact habitat,” said Tom Reed of Trout Unlimited. (Editing by Andy Sullivan and Peter Cooney) © Thomson Reuters 2008. All rights reserved. Users may download and print extracts of content from this website for their own personal and non-commercial use only. Republication or redistribution of Thomson Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters and its logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Thomson Reuters group of companies around the world.

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Conspiracy Theory Revision:

US Government could be staking out land in the west as collateral for the massive debt that ensnares our economy, as land gains value.

Comments»

1. jflack4prez - March 26, 2009

Nice, way to go Congress! Despite some grievances (which I will reserve for now), I strongly approve of the new Obama administration. His transparent White house website is amazing, and once he signs this bill into law, the actual wording of the bill will be easily accessible to the public.

If you haven’t seen the website, its worth checking out. http://www.whitehouse.gov


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