Jane Danowitz, Director of the Pew Environment Group's U.S. public lands program, today issued the following statement on President Obama's signing of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009:
“This is a seminal moment for public land protection in the United States and one of the most significant measures to protect our landscapes in a generation.
“Swift action by President Obama and the new Congress signals a welcome change in the way our federal lands are managed. It gives hope to millions of Americans that our leaders stand with us in the effort to safeguard our nation's last wild places.
“There is still much more to be done, however. With roughly 60 million acres of America's roadless national forests still vulnerable to logging and other development, we hope the administration will put an immediate ‘time out' on road-building and other activities on these pristine national forestlands – including Alaska's Tongass National Forest – until the necessary steps can be taken to fully reinstate the roadless rule.”