WASHINGTON — Cue the classic 1968 song from Steppenwolf, the one everybody hears in their head when they dream of hitting the open road to experience America in all its splendor…
Get your motor runnin'
Head out on the highway
Lookin' for adventure
And whatever comes our way...
That’s the spirit of a virtual bus tour, call it the Virtual OmniBUS Tour ’09, that The Wilderness Society has launched to build support for the Omnibus Public Land Management Act. The Washington state to Washington D.C. tour — actually comprised of blog posts — is rolling across the nation to encourage the U.S. House of Representatives to vote yes and send the measure to the waiting left hand of President Barack Obama. The legislation will among other things:
- Protect more than two million acres of wilderness in nine different states.
- Create three new units of the National Park System, a new national monument (a big ol’ chunk of nature — not cement in a city), and more than 1,000 miles of new additions to the National Wild and Scenic River System.
- Make permanent a 26-million-acre conservation system for the best lands and waters managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
The bill, however, is not perfect. While The Wilderness Society supports passage of the bill, TWS does oppose a provision that would de-designate wilderness within Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to allow construction of an unnecessary road. TWS has begun working with the Obama Administration on possible solutions to that provision.
Meanwhile, the virtual bus journey will pay homage to old-fashioned barnstorming tours but without leaving even a trace of a carbon footprint. The blogging-on-wheels adventure will visit some of America’s most scenic lands, hitting the cyber road in the Pasayten Wilderness in Washington state and making stops in a number of areas before arriving in the nation’s capital. Each stop on the tour will be lead by a local expert writing about the importance and beauty of land affected by the Omnibus Public Land Management Act.
“This is old school meets new school,” says OmniBUS Tour driver Christopher Lancette, who moonlights as a communications director for The Wilderness Society. “We want people across the country to hop on board, explore the country with us, and tell Congress to approve this important public lands bill.”
Hit it again, Steppenwolf.
Like a true nature's child
We were born, born to be wild …
Born to be wild
Born to be wild