Washington, D.C. President Barack Obama signed legislation Monday setting aside more than 2 million acres in nine states as protected wilderness.
Obama called the new law among the most important in decades “to protect, preserve and pass down our nation’s most treasured landscapes to future generations.”
The law — a collection of nearly 170 separate measures — represents one of the largest expansions of wilderness protection in a quarter-century. The measure confers the government’s highest level of protection on land in nine states — almost as much wilderness as designated during the past eight years combined.
Land protected by the 1,200-page law ranges from California’s Sierra Nevada and Oregon’s Mount Hood to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and parts of the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia.
Also in the legislation signed by Obama is a provision named for “Superman” actor Christopher Reeve that provides for paralysis research and care for persons with disabilities.