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The package includes many area-specific bills, all aimed at rolling back much of the efforts made by the administration of President George W. Bush to open up protected land to American businesses.
The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, sponsored by New Mexico Democrat Jeff Bingaman, would create a permanent, 26 million-acre conservation system comprised of the Bureau of Land Management's most favored lands and waters.
It is expected that the entire package will be passed by the House and signed into law by President Obama in the coming weeks.
Similar legislation has been brought before Congress for over a decade, but Republicans have each time managed to stave it off. When the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006, the bill passed the House, but a threat of veto from the White House essentially let the bill die in the Senate. Over the last several months, Republics again tried to stall any progress on the Conservation Act, but there efforts to attach amendments and riders were stymied by the Democratic leadership. Republicans were particularly upset that the bill would deny access to lands for possible oil and gas drilling.