Copper-Salmon Wilderness, Oregon
Yesterday Barack Obama signed into law the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009, which will extend permanent protection for 2 million acres of wilderness land while extending further protections to 26 million acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) territories that will be part of a new National Landscape Conservation System.
Said Obama at the signing of the legislation yesterday:
"This legislation guarantees that we will not take our forests, rivers, oceans, national parks, monuments and wilderness areas for granted, but rather we will set them aside and guard their sanctity for everyone to share. That's something all Americans can support."
Wilderness lands now offered permanent protection include Oregon's Mount Hood and part of Virginia's Jefferson National Forest, along with sites in California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, Utah and West Virginia.
The new National Landscape Conservation System includes areas of archaeological and cultural significance including Canyons of Ancients National Monument in southwest Colorado, and Agua Fria National Monument in Arizona, Nevada's Black Rock Desert National Conservation Area and California's King Range National Conservation Area.
The Landscape Conservation System will protect critical habitat for fish and wildlife and provides access to world-class hunting and fishing, while offering recreational opporunities for self-guided adventurers.
The legislation signed into law yesterday also authorizes additional funding to protect ecologically valuable coastal areas and estuaries.
To learn more about the new The National Landscape Conservation System, click here.
To see a map of the areas covered, click here (really big PDF).
The Jefferson National Forest, Virginia.