The House of Representatives voted today to pass the Omnibus Public Land Management Act. The final vote in the House was 285-140. The bill passed the Senate 77-21 last week. The lands package now goes to President Obama for his signature, possibly as early as next Monday. The President is expected to sign the bill.
The legislation protects two million acres of Wilderness and 1,000 miles of rivers, and prohibits new oil and gas development on 1.2 million acres in Wyoming. It also legislatively affirms the 26-million-acre National Landscape Conservation System.
"This is a major conservation victory that preserves wild places throughout the US forever," said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance.
Every conservation provision included in the legislation started at the local level where grassroots organizations led the charge to build public support to protect a special landscape or waterway. The Conservation Alliance supported the local organizations that led the efforts behind 12 of the 16 Wilderness provisions included in the package. The Alliance also funded the groups leading the efforts behind protecting the Snake River Headwaters, and closing the Wyoming Range to new oil and gas development.
In total, The Conservation Alliance contributed more than $700,000 to ten different organizations whose good work eventually wound up in the package. Some of the grantees had more than one provision in the package. The Alliance also worked in close partnership with Outdoor Industry Association to demonstrate that the outdoor industry stood uniformly behind the provisions in this package.
"This is a big victory, and we did everything within the limits of our lean staff capacity and financial resources to ensure it crossed the finish line," said Sterling.
Click here to view a summary of the conservation provisions in the bill.
Click here for a full news report from the San Francisco Chronicle.