Press Release – President Obama Builds on Bold Conservation Agenda

Conservationists encouraged by State of the Union Address

In response to the State of the Union, the Conservation Lands Foundation, the only organization dedicated to protecting, expanding and restoring the National Conservation Lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), released the following statement from Executive Director Brian O’Donnell, applauding President Obama’s commitment to conservation and to addressing the threat of climate change.

“Last year, President Obama said that he would use his authority to protect more of our pristine lands for future generations. He followed through with that pledge by protecting the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, San Gabriel Mountains and expanded the California Coastal and Pacific Remote Islands National Monuments, setting aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history.

Tonight President Obama pledged to keep the momentum going, and we are heartened by his words and actions.  We are encouraged by the President’s support for conservation and his ambitious steps to combat the effects of climate change. Land conservation is critical to providing Americans with clean air and water, and ensures that America’s outdoor traditions can be passed on to future generations.

Already in the first days of this new Congress we have seen that the very laws that protect our lands and waters will themselves need protection. Legislation has been introduced that would gut the Antiquities Act—the law that first protected the Grand Canyon and many other national parks, as well as dozens of national monuments and conservation areas within the National Conservation Lands. Polls repeatedly show that Americans across the political spectrum support conservation of our nation’s land and water, and these attacks demonstrate how out of touch the Republican-led House of Representatives is when it comes to America’s public lands.

President Obama has already taken direct and decisive action to protect America’s outdoor heritage and honor our nation’s history with his designation of thirteen national monuments, including the recent designation of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and the expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.

We look forward to President Obama’s continued leadership in protecting our nation’s most significant natural treasures, and protecting the laws that have allowed sixteen Presidents—eight from each party—to enact these important protections when Congress is unable to do so.”

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