As you may recall, last year Congress approved a massive omnibus public lands bill that cobbled more than 160 separate pieces of legislation into one massive bill. The bill permanently eliminated the potential for motorized recreation on more than two million acres of public lands that were designated as wilderness in nine states. In addition, the package added three new national park units, a new national monument, three new national conservation areas, more than 1,000 miles of national wild and scenic rivers and four new national trails. Also signed into law as a part of the omnibus package was the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) Act, which is currently being used to limit motorized access on Bureau of Land Management lands.
Now Congress is being asked to create another omnibus lands package. At a recent Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said “(There is a) need for us to come together hopefully with Congress and the administration perhaps in moving forward with a 2010 version of what we did in 2009,” referring to the 2009 omnibus bill.