Spring is in the air in Washington, DC and hope seems to permeate every corner of this storied city. Along with the promise of longer days and warmer weather, there's hope that the new congress and administration can help us return to a true participatory democracy. As a member of Earthjustice's legislative team, my biggest hope is that we're witnessing the dawn of a new era when it comes to environmental policy.
The promise of this new era was on full display in the East Room of the White House last week as President Obama signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 into law. This bill -- the most significant land-preservation legislation in a decade -- protects over two million acres of wilderness and is composed of dozens of wildly popular conservation measures.