Snap Fact #176

President Obama Fights To Save Our Precious Natural Resources!
In passing the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009, the 111th Congress demonstrated effective Federal governance to preserve the precious and fragile natural environment of the United States. The act put together a package of 164 separate bills proposed by Congresspersons and environmental activists from throughout the country. The new law protects two million additional acres of wilderness in nine States and a thousand miles of wild and scenic rivers - a full 50% increase. Among other environmental goals attained, new national trails, three new national parks, and a new national monument were created.

The bills had previously been stalled by procedural tactics employed by Republicans. Opponents had fought the environmental initiatives partially because they block energy development on public lands. Republican Study Committee Chairman Congressman Tom Price of Georgia said that he and other conservative Republicans opposed "the pork-filled package" because it would "block millions of acres for energy development, expand federal land holdings, give the government even more control over American land, and trample private property rights." 

The National Landscape Conservation System protects critical habitat for fish and wildlife, provides access to world-class hunting and fishing, and offers challenging recreation for the self-guided adventurer.
 "These places tell the story of America - and now, thanks to a concerted effort by many people, their future is more secure. That's good news for everybody," said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

The measure authorized the creation of the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail in the Pacific Northwest - the first national geologic trail in the National Park System. It also toughens penalties on the illegal collection of fossils on federal lands, ensuring that fossils from public lands are available for educational and scientific research. 

"Ocean protections are also contained in the package of legislation", said Laura Burton Capps, senior vice president for government affairs and communications with Ocean Conservancy. "The ocean is 71 percent of our planet and our life support system, providing us with much of the oxygen we breathe, the food we eat, and regulating the climate that we need to survive." Capps continued, "The leadership shown by Congress today will be reflected in the ocean we have to show our children and grandchildren."

Future SNAP-CAPS will talk about the President doing battle to protect the environment. Unfortunately the 112th Congress has seen fit to do everything it can to fight environmental protection in the sky, the waters, and on and under the earth. Ask yourself, would a Republican Presidency and 113th Congress further squander our precious resources?