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Caring for creation through advocacy

Cathryn Clinton
February 11, 2009

AKRON, Pa. –  The Washington Office of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. has joined other religious groups in asking Congress to pass legislation protecting millions of acres of land.

The Public Land Management Omnibus Act would establish wilderness areas in West Virginia, protect mountainous land in Wyoming and would provide Congressional authorization to permanently recognize the National Landscape Conservation System.

The U.S. Senate passed the legislation on Jan. 20 and the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on it before Feb. 16.

The Washington Office signed a letter asking the Senate to pass this legislation and is encouraging individuals to contact their representatives to advocate for its passage in the House.

"Our office has long supported efforts like this one to care for God's creation. It is part of our mandate to be stewards of the resources God has given us, and to be sure that they are shared equitably and preserved for future generations," says Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach, Washington Office director.

A statement, "Stewards in God's Creation," approved by MCC’s Executive Committee in 1994, states, "Preserving the creation must be integral to who we are and what we believe."

Among other things, the Public Land Management Omnibus Act would protect 15 wilderness areas in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. It would also protect the National Landscape Conservation System, which includes national monuments, wilderness study areas and scenic and historic trails that contain important natural, cultural and historic resources.

In addition, the legislation would protect wildlife habitat, scenic views and outdoor recreation opportunities in the Wyoming Range, an isolated range of peaks in western Wyoming.