The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Paul Spitler (202) 429-2672 or

Statement of Wilderness Society President William H. Meadows on House Vote on S. 22, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of


Today's vote, although a tremendous disappointment to all who value America's public lands, nonetheless demonstrates the broad bipartisan support for wilderness protection. Although it missed a two-thirds majority by two votes, the final tally was lopsided in support of the legislation.

The unprotected wild areas that would be protected by the legislation are not just places where we hike, camp, fish, and hunt with our friends and families. They are places that filter our water, cleanse our air, and temper the effects of global warming. But these last untouched public lands face tremendous development pressures. The broad support in the House and Senate demonstrate the importance of this legislation, and we urge Congress to pass this landmark bill as soon as possible to ensure that these undeveloped landscapes are permanently protected for all Americans to enjoy.

We thank Congressmen Rahall and Grijalva, as well as Speaker Pelosi and the entire House leadership team, for their tireless efforts to advance this legislation.

For more information on the Omnibus Public Land Management Act or today's vote, contact Paul Spitler at (202) 429-2672 or

Since 1935, The Wilderness Society has led the conservation movement in wilderness protection, writing and passing the landmark Wilderness Act and winning lasting protection for 107 million acres of Wilderness, including 56 million acres of spectacular lands in Alaska, eight million acres of fragile desert lands in California and millions more throughout the nation.