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Obama Signs Land Bill Protecting 700,000 Acres of California Wilderness

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"As Americans, we possess few blessings greater than the vast and varied landscapes that stretch the breadth of our continent," President Barack Obama said today before signing the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009, which designates 700,000 acres of California land, including portions within Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Parks, as protected Wildnerness.

"What these gifts require in return is our wise and responsible stewardship," Obama continued. "As our greatest conservationist President, Teddy Roosevelt, put it almost a century ago, 'I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us.' That's the spirit behind the bipartisan legislation I'm signing today -- legislation among the most important in decades to protect, preserve, and pass down our nation’s most treasured landscapes to future generations."

Areas protected by the bill that lay closest to Los Angeles include Pleasant View Ridge in the Angeles National Forest, Lower Piru Creek off the 126 Highway and Magic Mountain, which is West of the theme park. To see a map of all protected areas in Southern California, read LAist's earlier post.

Although not part of today's legislation, Los Angeles's immediate surroundings has much to offer including the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, the Angeles National Forest, Catalina Island's interior and Channel Islands National Park, which will be opening a new island visitor center next week.