President Obama signs landmark US conservation bill
President Barack Obama on Monday approved a sweeping expansion of government land protections, safeguarding about 800,000 new hectares of parks, rivers, forests and mountains across the United States, dpa reported.
The legislation, which is a collection of about 150 smaller bills that had been in the works for years, was approved earlier this month with broad bipartisan support by both chambers of Congress.
The bill designates new wilderness areas across nine US states, including mountains in California, Virginia and Colorado, protecting those regions from any kind of commercial development.
Obama called the legislation "among the most important in decades to protect, preserve, and pass down our nation's most treasured landscapes to future generations."
Athan Manuel of US environmental group Sierra Club called the signing a "historic day for conservation."