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Key Provisions in Wilderness Bill

posted on March 27, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House gave final legislative approval Wednesday to a bill designating more than 2 million acres of wilderness across nine states, from California to Virginia. The bill also would set aside former President Bill Clinton's childhood home in Hope, Ark., as a national historic site, and allow construction of an airport access road in a wildlife refuge in Alaska.

The bill now goes to the president for his signature.

Among the provisions, by state:

- Authorize a land swap to give the state of Alaska a seven-mile easement through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. The easement allows the state to complete a 25-mile gravel road from King Cove to Cold Bay, where there is an all-weather airport. In exchange, the state and other landowners would transfer more than 61,000 acres to the federal government, including about 43,000 acres to be designated as wilderness.

- Preserve nearly 450,000 acres of wilderness and 73 miles of wild and scenic rivers near Santa Clarita and along the California Nevada border, including the White Mountains.
- Protect some 190,000 acres in Riverside County as wilderness, including parts of Joshua Tree National Park.
- Protect about 70,000 acres of wilderness, including the new John Krebs Wilderness, named for the former congressman and conservationist who fought to protect these lands in the Mineral King Valley.

- Protect nearly 250,000 acres of Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Protect 66,000 acres of red rock sandstone canyons, cliffs, streams and waterfalls in western Colorado.

- Protect as wilderness 517,000 acres in Idaho's Owyhee Canyonlands.

- Protect 11,739 acres of wilderness at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

New Mexico:
- Protect more than 15,000 acres in San Miguel County as wilderness.

- Protect 13,700 acres of old-growth forest in Oregon's Siskiyou National Forest.
- Protect more than 128,000 acres of national forest on Mount Hood.
- Protect 23,000 acres in southwestern Oregon's Soda Mountain region.
Protect nearly 31,000 acres of wilderness in the Badlands just east of Bend.
- Protect 8,600 acres of wilderness overlooking the John Day Wild and Scenic River.

- Protect more than 250,000 acres of wilderness in and near Zion National Park.

- Protect 43,000 acres of the Jefferson National Forest as wilderness, and 12,000 as a national scenic area.

West Virginia - Protect 37,000 acres in the Monongahela National Forest.

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