Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 Signed on Monday!
On Monday, President Obama signed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 resulting in stronger protections to 200,000 acres of public land in Oregon and millions more throughout the nation. Oregon legislators, Senator Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, have worked for years to see this bill become law and both were on hand for the signing ceremony.
Pres. Obama's remarks were peppered with remembrances of the vision of former Pres. Teddy Roosevelt, creator of the U.S. National Park System. "It's a vision that sees America's great wilderness as a place where what was and what is and what will be -- all are the same; a place where memories are lived and relived; a place where Americans both young and young at heart can freely experience the spirit of adventure that has always been at the heart of the rugged character of America."
The bill includes 170 separate lands, parks and conservation bills and establishes three new national parks.
- 127,000 acres surrounding Mt. Hood now have permanent wilderness protection, the highest the government offers (this is the ECHO office's backyard)
- The Owyhee Public Lands Management Act designates more than 500,000 acres of ID's Owyhee-Bruneau Canyonlands as wilderness as well as 315 miles of National Wild and Scenic Rivers and streams in this scenic high desert along the Owyhee River in Oregon and Idaho
- 1,000 miles of rivers and streams have also gained Wild & Scenic protection including the North Fork of the Elk River in Oregon
- Oregon Badlands Wilderness Act to protect 30,000 acres of desert wilderness in Central Oregon
- Spring Basin Wilderness Act to protect 8,600 acres of scenic wilderness long the John Day River in Central Oregon
- Copper Salmon Wilderness Act of Oregon to protect 13,000 acres of old growth forest along the head of the Elk River; one of the most prolific salmon fisheries in the west
- Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Voluntary and Equitable Grazing Conflict Resolution Act of Oregon to protect 23,000 acres of pristine flowering meadows and old growth forests and insure voluntary relinquishment of grazing permits
Here at ECHO we were so inspired by this legislation that we felt like breaking into song: