President Builds Conservation Legacy in Signing Historic Lands Bill
Hunters and anglers laud measures beneficial to fish and wildlife populations, sporting opportunities in most significant conservation legislation enacted in decades
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama today signed into law a broad-based public lands bill and ensured the conservation of millions of acres of public lands and hunting and fishing opportunities, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership announced today.
TRCP President and CEO George Cooper attended the White House signing ceremony for the legislation and invoked the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt in assessing the president’s actions.
“Theodore Roosevelt once said, ‘We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune,’” said Cooper. “With today’s events, Roosevelt’s words take on a new and deeper meaning. Ratification of this historic measure represents an important victory for sportsmen, as well as for our natural resources and activities that rely on our nation’s public lands.
“By acting decisively to ensure that Americans enjoy continued access to places to hunt and fish, President Obama is helping sustain a crucial element of our identity as a nation,” Cooper continued. “His ready support of this legislation demonstrates that he understands the value of America’s public lands and the ability of the common man to enjoy those vast open spaces.”
The omnibus legislation comprises more than 150 public lands, water and resources bills and numerous measures of importance to sportsmen, including the Wyoming Range Legacy Act and National Landscape Conservation System. The Wyoming Range Legacy Act prohibits further energy leasing on 1.2 million acres of big-game habitat and native trout waters and permits groups to buy and retire existing energy leases. The National Landscape Conservation System conserves hunting and fishing opportunities on millions of acres of Bureau of Land Management lands that encompass some of the nation’s most important extant fish and wildlife habitat. The legislation also includes the Altmire amendment, which maintains access for hunters and anglers in areas currently open to those activities and upholds the ability of states to manage fish and wildlife populations.
“Wyoming’s late senator, Craig Thomas, was a proponent of balance in the management of our shared natural resources, and the Wyoming Range Legacy Act embodies his beliefs and ideals,” said Tom Reed, spokesperson for Sportsmen for the Wyoming Range and backcountry coordinator for Trout Unlimited. “Through the legislation signed today by our president, these vast sagebrush steppes will continue to sustain healthy big-game herds and public-lands hunting opportunities – and, by extension, America’s outdoor heritage.”
Sportsmen for the Wyoming Range is a coalition of sportsmen’s and outdoors groups that support the Wyoming Range and conservation of natural resources and wildlife habitats. The TRCP is one of a growing number of organizations that supports Wyoming Range sportsmen. The president’s approval of the public-lands bill comes only days after Congress voted to pass the measure. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the omnibus package “the most significant conservation measure to be enacted by Congress in the last 15 years.”
Read a statement by the president concerning the signing of the public-lands legislation. Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing.