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The u.s. Senate has approved Tuesday by an overwhelming majority a draft law on the protection of natural parks in a vote strongly welcomed by environmentalists, after two years of presidency of the climatosceptique Donald Trump.
After its approval, by 98 votes to 2 in the Senate to republican majority, the text must still be approved by the House of representatives, controlled by the democrats. But the broad support received Tuesday suggests a strong consensus in the lower house also.
Rare moment of agreement between republicans and democrats in a Congress divided, this bill would place some 800 000 hectares of public land under a new protection or to reinforce the existing measures, in addition to expanding the area of eight national parks and to create new national monuments and sites.
Acres of wildlife habitat wildlife american bighorn sheep in the salmon, among others, could be protected from mining. The bill perpetuates an important fund dedicated to the protection of these spaces, which had been denied funding by the administration to Trump over the past year.
The text removes in particular the rights of mining in areas close to the famous park of the Yellowstone. In California, it expands the surface of the parks of Joshua Tree and Death Valley. Across the country, amerindian titled lands would benefit from enhanced protection.
The draft law is open, however, more territories to hunting and fishing.
“This law is a historic step forward by protecting and investing in our public lands, and we look forward to seeing its final approval”, welcomed the Sierra Club, an organization for the protection of the environment.
Since his arrival at the White House, the republican Donald Trump has dismantled the regulations protecting the national parks, put in place by his predecessors.
In January 2018, the administration’s Trump had announced that it wanted to open to oil drilling on the coast of the Refuge Arctic, being indignant environmentalists and native americans.