Center for American Progress

Building Up the Administration’s Conservation Legacy
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Building Up the Administration’s Conservation Legacy

Three actions in the past two weeks show how President Obama and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar are working from the ground up to build this administration’s conservation legacy.

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For many conservationists and lovers of the great outdoors, it was not obvious at first how President Barack Obama, with his urban Chicago roots, would make his mark on the vast expanse known as the public estate—national parks, national forests, monuments, and hundreds of millions of acres of lands that belong to all Americans. Despite his early trip to Grand Canyon National Park with his daughters Sasha and Malia, it seemed unlikely that this former community organizer would follow in the footsteps of President Teddy Roosevelt and prioritize protecting large areas of land for future generations.

But three actions in the past two weeks show how President Obama and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar are working from the ground up to build this administration’s conservation legacy: the designation of Fort Monroe as a national monument, a new proposal for solar energy development on public lands, and recent plans to protect the Grand Canyon from mining development.

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