The Senate recently passed The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, which would protect over 2 million acres in 160 sites across nine states as brand new wilderness. We'd personally love to visit them all, but that requires a lot of time, cash, and gas lots of peeps can't quite spend in today's wintry economic climate.
Lucky for wilderness lovers like me, the Wilderness Society has us covered. The House has yet to vote on the act, so to raise public awareness and support, the Wilderness Society just launched their Virtual OmniBus Tour, which gives online outdoor fanatics the chance to experience each of these wild places and learn why they should be preserved forever. By following on the blog, viewers will get photos, trip reports, and more from each of the proposed wildernesses, from Washington state to Washington D.C.
First stop is the proposed Pasayten Wilderness in Washington state, home to bears, moose, wolves, and the largest population of Canadian lynx in the lower 48. Portions of the Pacific Northwest Trail pass through the Pasayten Wilderness; if the omnibus bill passes, the trail will become part of the National Scenic Trail system, which includes other biggies like the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. Next up: Idaho's Owyhee Canyonlands.
The Omnibus Virtual Tour might even inspire you to get outside and visit a few of these precious places. When you're ready to get off the virtual bus and get on a real trail, you can check out our trips through many of the proposed wildernesses on BACKPACKER's Destinations page.
To urge your congressman to vote for the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, click here.