Senate Passes Public Lands Bill
The U.S. Senate passed the omnibus public lands bill on Thursday (March 19), on a vote of 77-20, virtually ensuring that the bill creating new national parks and designating millions of acres as wilderness will become law sometime soon, according to The New York Times.
The bill would create 2 million acres of wilderness in nine states — many of them in the West. The list includes wilderness expansions in California’s Eastern Sierra Nevada, Mount Hood in Oregon, Zion National Park in Utah, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, Jefferson National Forest in Virginia and the Monongahela in West Virginia. It also calls for establishing a 26-million acre national conservation system, a new national monument, thousands of miles of trails and increase the number of protected miles along rivers.
Paul Spitler, of the Wilderness Society, called the legislation “the most important conservation measure in a decade.”