President Obama Signs the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act

President Obama Signs the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act


The President: Well, first
of all, over the last six years, the American people
have worked really hard to bounce back from the worst
economic crisis since the Great Depression. We got jobs numbers today,
showing that America created another 210,000 new jobs. That makes 65 consecutive
months of private sector job growth. This is the strongest
two-year run of private sector job growth that we’ve
seen in the last 15 years. And it is a testament I
think to the incredible ingenuity and resilience
and hard work of the American people. So, even as we continue to
focus on rebuilding our economy, providing more
opportunity, one of the things that we’ve also
been trying to focus on is leaving a legacy for
the next generation in preserving this incredible
beauty, the God-given blessings that we’ve
received — those of us who live here in the United
States of America. I think everybody here knows
that one of the prettiest states that we have with
some of the greatest national treasures is the
great state of Idaho. I am very proud to be able
to sign this piece of legislation, enacted by the
House of Representatives, entitled the Sawtooth
National Recreation Area and the Jerry Peak
Wilderness Additions Act. And what this does is it
designates three additional wilderness designations in
the great state of Idaho. This is a
remarkable area. It is used by fishermen,
hunters, rafters, people taking hikes. It is not only beautiful,
but it’s also an important economic engine for the
state — attracting tourism, creating jobs. And thanks to the work of a
broad-based coalition of folks in Idaho, but
spearheaded here in Congress by Congressman Mike
Simpson — who was able to receive not a single
“no” vote — (laughter) — which does not happen
often in the House of Representatives — something
that folks have been working on for quite some time is
going to be reality. And so we want to
congratulate all of them. We want to urge the American
people to visit these new, incredible wilderness areas,
and recognize that not only will this give opportunities
to people in Idaho, but it’s going to be there for future
generations as well. One last point I want to
make — we want to be thinking during the course
of this summer about the firefighters who are taking
on some really tough fires all across the
Western states. As I’ve noted before, we’ve
seen a consistent escalation of the severity and the
length of wildfire season. And a lot of that is
attributable to the fact that climate change is going
to be raising temperatures and creating less water,
more vulnerability to a lot of forests
out there. One of the things we’re
trying to work on with Congress is making sure that
we are able to properly fund firefighting efforts, but
also that we’re engaged in the kind of conservation
planning to ensure that we’re preventing
fires from happening in the first place. And so that’s a project
that, at least in the Western states,
you get a lot of bipartisan support for. Hopefully we’ll be able
to get that same kind of support here
in Washington. So, again, congratulations
to all of you. Mike, congratulations for
the great work you’ve done. I will now sign this
designation. There you go. Good job. (applause)

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