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In May 2002, the Bush Administration recommended designation of a new, 1.4 million-acre wilderness area in the Chugach National Forest in Alaska . This is the first wilderness recommendation in more than a decade and the largest single Executive Branch recommendation for wilderness on National Forest system lands in several decades. The Chugach provides outstanding fish and wildlife habitat and world-class recreation and tourism opportunities. The revised forest management plan for the Chugach adopted in May 2002 will emphasize protection and improvement of fish and wildlife habitat while enhancing quality recreation and tourism opportunities.
The President signed into law the Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002. Public Law 107-282 designated over 450,000 acres of wilderness in Southern Nevada under the management of the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service, and created a new National Conservation Area (NCA) southwest of Las Vegas . The effort finalizes an outstanding effort of local and State government, private interests, and Federal agencies working together to resolve long-term, land-use issues.
In July 2004, the Administration announced a proposal to Congress to designate more than 64,000 additional acres adjacent to the existing Kalmiopsis Wilderness on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forests as wilderness in Southwest Oregon to continue to protect natural resources and wildlife habitat.
In September 2004, marking the 40th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, the Administration also recommended to Congress that an additional 8,090 acres of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia be protected as wilderness. The areas recommended are additions to the 10 existing wilderness areas administered by the Forest Service in the Southern Appalachians --one of the most biologically rich areas of the country.
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