The Campaign for America's Wilderness of the Pew Environment Group issued the following statement by director Mike Matz on President Barack Obama's proclamation declaring September as National Wilderness Month.
“We are delighted that President Obama for the second year in a row has proclaimed September as National Wilderness Month. Today, the anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act, we call on Congress to wrap the many wilderness bills now pending into one package, pass it as an omnibus measure and send it to the president for his signature. Nearly 20 bi-partisan wilderness bills are awaiting action. Together, they would protect nearly two million additional acres of wild land, which is the amount we lose in open space each year.
“These amazing landscapes, with names like Devil's Staircase and Cathedral Rock in Oregon, New Mexico's Organ Mountains, the Boulder-White Clouds in Idaho, California's Pinnacles and Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes, are America's common ground. Across the country, people of all backgrounds -- teachers, hunters and anglers, small business owners, conservationists, ranchers and outdoor recreationists -- have worked in their communities to build support for protecting these much-loved places for their children and grandchildren to use and enjoy.
“President Obama proclaimed, ‘Together, we must ensure that future generations can experience the tranquility and grandeur of America's natural places. As we resolve to meet this responsibility, let us also reflect on the ways in which our lives have been enriched by the gift of the American wilderness.' In that spirit, we ask Congress to make it a priority for this year to pass these significant wilderness protection measures.”