Legislation good step for environment

Officials in some environmental groups were not at all happy when President Donald Trump signed into law the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act.

But, you say, the act is a major step in protecting the environment. What gives?

Indeed, the law, named for the distinguished Michigan congressman who died in February, is important. It accomplishes a variety of worthwhile things, including continued funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

But in terms of safeguarding precious public lands, the Dingell Act is truly monumental. It establishes more than 1.3 million acres of new wilderness areas and other lands protected by the law. It also safeguards another million acres from mining.

New national heritage areas are included in the measure. Also, new protections for historic sites, including Civil War battlefields, are included.

More than 100 separate provisions are included in the new law, which appears to be the most comprehensive package of environmental legislation enacted in many years.

It is that very thing that has some radicals upset. They fear Trump will receive too much credit for environmental protection.

As the Washington Times reported, the Western Values Project protests that the president’s action is “an attempt to whitewash the Trump administration’s abysmal record on public lands and wildlife.”

Instead of patting Trump on the back, an official of The Wilderness Society cited his “extreme drill-anywhere agenda.”

It has become obvious that a certain sector of our society, including some special interest groups whose financial well-being depends on demonizing Trump, will never, ever have anything good to say about him.

But he — and the bipartisan coalition in Congress that got the bill to his desk — deserve enormous credit for this one.

For once, government seems to be working, and all involved have earned a hearty pat on the back.

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