Congress Approves First New Land Conservation System in a Generation

For Immediate Release

Conservation System Alliance
Contact: 

Brian O'Donnell , National Conservation System Foundation (970) 903-0276 brian@ourconservationlegacy.org
Kevin Mack The Wilderness Society (202) 429-2524 kevin_mack@tws.org
Virgil McDill National Trust for Historic Preservation (202) 294-9187 virgil_mcdill@nthp.org

Congress Approves First New Land Conservation System in a Generation

Conservation System unites 26 million acres

WASHINGTON - Earlier today, Congress approved legislation permanently
establishing the National Landscape Conservation System, which will
protect and restore the most scenic, ecologically and historically
significant lands under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land
Management. The System, the first of its kind in 50 years, consists of
National Monuments, National Conservation Areas, Wilderness Areas, Wild
and Scenic Rivers, National Scenic and Historic Trails and other
protective designations totaling over 850 sites and 26 million acres.

"I
am grateful that Congress has enacted this important legislation.
Future generations will look back at this day as a major milestone in
our nation's conservation history," said William Meadows, President of
The Wilderness Society.

The National Landscape Conservation
System contains areas of rich archaeological and cultural significance
including Canyons of Ancients National Monument in southwest Colorado,
and Agua Fria National Monument in Arizona as well as vast wild areas
such as Nevada's Black Rock Desert National Conservation Area and
California's King Range National Conservation Area. The 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.

"Even as a passionate supporter and regular visitor to our
National Parks and Wilderness Areas, I was unaware that an enormous
number of our nation's wildest and most historically significant public
lands were outside this network, poorly managed and under threat," said
Edward Norton, actor, conservationist, and National Conservation System
Foundation Board Member. "By permanently approving the National
Landscape Conservation System, Congress has ensured that these
irreplaceable natural treasures will receive the protection they
deserve."

Other federal land management agencies already
oversee land conservation systems, including the National Park System
and the National Wildlife Refuge System. By approving legislation
establishing the National Landscape Conservation System, Congress has
entrusted the Bureau of Land Management with protecting the United
States' newest land conservation system.

"Each generation
leaves a legacy to future generations," said Stewart Udall, former U.S.
Secretary of the Interior. "This is right at the heart of the National
Landscape Conservation System."

For more information, please visit The Conservation System Alliance website at: http://www.conservationsystem.org/

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The Conservation System Alliance is a coalition of eighty conservation, historic preservation, faith-based, recreation, business, education and place-based friends groups representing millions of Americans nationwide. The Conservation System Alliance aims to protect, restore and expand the National Landscape Conservation System by making it permanent, well-funded, well-managed, and inclusive of the best natural and cultural resources under the Bureau of Land Management's care.

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