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January 15, 2009

Elyssa Rosen 775.224.7497

Statement of Jane Danowitz, director, U.S. public lands program, Pew Environment Group

on passage of omnibus wildlands Senate bill

WASHINGTON Jane Danowitz, Director of the Pew Environment Group's U.S. public lands program, today issued the following statement on Senate passage of S. 22, a package of more than 160 public lands, water, and resources bills that include two million acres of wilderness in nine states. The final vote count was 73-21.

"Today's Senate action represents the dawn of a new day in Congress for public land protection.

"By taking this critical step toward approval of the largest single expansion of wilderness in a generation, the Senate has shown that it is willing to work across party lines to find common ground to protect our most valued landscapes.

"We urge House leaders to move quickly to make this measure the law of the land."

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