Obama Signs Bill Adding Two Million Acres to Wilderness

March 31, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

This morning President Obama signed a landmark bill that gives wilderness status to 2.1 million acres of federal land. As we reported last Wednesday, much of land included in the legislation is inside of key watersheds like Wyoming’s Snake River Basin or is adjacent to more than 1,000 miles of rivers in nearly a dozen states. At the signing, President Obama noted: “‘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.'” On the Huffington Post, Matthew Daly wrote, “The law — a collection of nearly 170 separate measures — represents one of the largest expansions of wilderness protection in a quarter-century. The measure confers the government’s highest level of protection on land in nine states — almost as much wilderness as designated during the past eight years combined.”