Wilderness Society Leads Effort to Pass “America the Beautiful” Lands Amendment to Stimulus Bill

Woman and companion in Chattooga River, flowing in Sumter National Forest, South Carolina. Photo by Butch Clay.

The Wilderness Society and Defenders of Wildlife took the lead today in forging a coalition of more than 30 other national and regional conservation groups, who linked arms to urge the Senate to invest in land and infrastructure work on America’s public lands.

The groups urged the Senate to support an amendment to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (HR 1) that would create 45,000 jobs while helping to restore America’s national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and other public lands.

The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and 12 other senators, would fund critical public lands projects, while bringing jobs for local workers to rural communities hard-hit by the current economic downturn. In a coalition letter sent to the full Senate today, the groups noted: “These recovery investments for our public lands and wildlife bring both short- and long-term benefits. Our public lands are valuable national assets crucial not only to protecting our natural heritage for future generations, but also as economic engines attracting hundreds of millions of visitors and generating billions in revenue for local communities every year.”

The Senate vote on this amendment is imminent. View TWS’ letter in support of the overall stimulus package and today’s coalition letter in support of the Bingaman amendment.

photo: Woman and companion in Chattooga River, flowing in Sumter National Forest, South Carolina. Photo by Butch Clay.

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