Statement on Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009

Mar 11, 2009

By Wilderness Society President William H. Meadows

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

Other Wilderness Society contacts

California Desert: Sally Miller, 415-518-7679
Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Sam Goldman, 202-744-3809

Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area, Dominguez Canyon, Rocky Mountain National Park/Indian Peaks: Steve Smith, 303-650-5818, x106

Owyhee-Bruneau Canyonlands: Craig Gehrke, 208-867-9970

Beaver Basin Wilderness: Jeremy Garncarz, 970-247-8788

New Mexico
Sabinoso Wilderness: Deanna Archuleta, 505-217-8705

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, Copper Salmon Wilderness, Lewis and Clark Mt. Hood Wilderness, Oregon Badlands Wilderness Act, Spring Basin Wilderness Act: Bob Freimark, 206-624-6430, x228

West Virginia
Wild Monongahela Act: Matt Keller, 970-247-8788

Virginia Ridge and Valley Act: Matt Keller, 970-247-8788

Washington County Growth and Conservation Act: Suzanne Jones, 303-650-5818, x102

Wyoming Range Legacy Act: Steff Kessler, 307-332-3462

Izembek National Wildlife Refuge: Maribeth Oakes, 202-429-2674 or Nicole Whittington-Evans, 907-272-1670

National Landscape Conservation Act System:
Kevin Mack, 202-454-2524

The Wilderness Society's Wilderness Support Center:

Learn more about America’s Wilderness.