Bristlecone pine protected by the Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act. Photo by John Dittli.
In 2009 you helped us begin to tear down the destructive environmental legacy of the Bush administration. Our members and supporters sent more than 1 million letters to decision makers, while our staff worked closely with the incoming administration and Congress.
Together we rolled back or achieved time-outs for the unbalanced, industry-centric policies that were in place at the beginning of 2009. Beyond holding the line, we also gained some serious ground of our own by passing a massive package of wild land protection bills in Congress. Give yourself a pat on the back for being part of the effort!
Here’s just some of what you helped accomplish this year:
- New protections for 2.2. million lands in nine states! We helped pass the largest wilderness bill in more than a decade, winning lasting protections for places like Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains and Oregon’s Mt. Hood.
- Saved Oregon’s ancient old-growth forests from major increases in logging proposed under the Bush administration.
- Fended off a massive oil and gas land grab in the West, winning a respite from oil and gas leasing for special places like New Mexico’s Otero Mesa, Wyoming’s Adobe Town and some of the treasured areas in Utah’s Red Rock country.
- Urged the Bureau of Land Management to look into overhauling its leasing program, which favored industry under the Bush administration. Helped spur investigation into industry-favoring conditions of oil shale research and development leases in the Rocky Mountain West.
- Saved Alaska’s Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge from a land exchange that would have placed oil and gas development within its current borders.
- Blocked proposals to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
- Scored major increases (4.6 billion) in federal funding for conservation programs.
- Helped win passage of climate change legislation in the House of Representatives, including funding for natural resources adaptation. (We're currently working on similar legislation in the Senate).
- Halted damaging off-road vehicle (ORV) abuse in California.
- Pressured the administration to halt Bush-era attempts to strip the nation’s roadless forests of protections.
- Succeeded in getting the Obama administration to adopt a plan to make land management agencies within the Department of Interior coordinate climate change efforts in an integrated, coordinated way.
- Helped bring snowmobile numbers in Yellowstone down from more than 700 to a little over 300.
- Passed the FLAME Act, which will fund the forest service and the Bureau of Land Management to fight large-scale fires, so that the agencies will no longer need to rob other valuable programs of funds in order to fight fires.
- Successfully expanded the Congaree National Park in South Carolina.
Many Bush-era policies are still being challenged in the courts or are under review by the Obama administration. The threats are not over. America's wild lands need you in 2010.
photo: Bristlecone pine in California protected by the Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act. Photo by John Dittli.