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Posted Tue Mar 31 2009: from San Jose Mercury News:
Obama signs landmark wilderness bill; restoration of key California river included
In one of the first major environmental acts of his presidency, President Barack Obama on Monday signed a far-reaching measure to provide wilderness protection to 2.1 million acres of federal land and restore salmon to California's second-longest river, the San Joaquin. The law will put billions of gallons of fresh water back into the river, potentially improving drinking water quality for large sections of the Bay Area, including Silicon Valley. "This legislation guarantees that we will not take our forests, rivers, oceans, national parks, monuments, and wilderness areas for granted," Obama said at a White House ceremony. "But rather we will set them aside and guard their sanctity for everyone to share." The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, co-written by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Barbara Boxer, is the largest wilderness preservation bill since President Clinton signed the Desert Protection Act in 1994.
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