Monday, May 06, 2013

Civil Rights Act & Wilderness Act: 50th Anniversaries

Civil Rights Wilderness Act 50/50

AAEA is implementing a program callled Civil Rights Wilderness Act 50/50 (CRWA5050) to recognize these two very important laws.  CRWA5050 will include increasing African American participation in wilderness areas.  Such participation will include field trips, creek bank stabiliztion, campground monitoring, wildfire mitigation and wildlife observation.

AAEA already operates a program in California called Compton-To-Catalina, which is supported by Southern California Edison.  We also attempted to build a wood-chip to electricity plant in Mississippi, which was designed to utilize a renewable resource and increase employment in one of the most depressed areas in the United States.  Such programs seek to both mitigate wildfires and create employment. The CRWA5050 Program will expand upon these concepts.  AAEA intends to participate in the planning and celebration of the two landmark laws.

The National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management, and the Society for Wilderness Stewardship are planning a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.  These four federal agencies are responsible for managing the National Wilderness Preservation System and are joining with other national wilderness organizations to spotlight and celebrate the nation’s wilderness.

Full Text of the Agreement among the agencies

The 50th Anniversary National Wilderness Conference is on Oct. 15-17 in Albuquerque, N.M.

Follow the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act on Facebook and visit the official website.

July 2, 2014 is the 50th anniversay of the signing of the Civil Rights Act and Sept. 3, 2014 is the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and also women. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (known as "public accommodations").

Powers given to enforce the act were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years. Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment. The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who would later sign the landmark Voting Rights Act into law.

The bill was called for by President John F. Kennedy in his civil rights speech of June 11, 1963, in which he asked for legislation "giving all Americans the right to be served in facilities which are open to the public—hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, and similar establishments."

President Lyndon B. Johnson signing Civil Rights Act

The Wilderness Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–577) created the legal definition of wilderness in the United States, and protected 9.1 million acres of federal land. The Wilderness Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3, 1964.

The Wilderness Act is well known for its succinct and poetic definition of wilderness:
“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”
When Congress passed and President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act on September 3, 1964, it created the National Wilderness Preservation System. The initial statutory wilderness areas, designated in the Act, comprised 9.1 million acres of national forest wilderness areas in the United States of America previously protected by administrative orders. The current amount of areas designated by the NWPS as wilderness totals 757 areas encompassing 109.5 million acres of federally owned land in 44 states and Puerto Rico (5% of the land in the United States). (Wiki, Wiki, Pew)

President Lyndon B. Johnson signing Wilderness Act

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