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If we’ve learned any lessons during the past few decades, perhaps the most important is that preservation of our environment is not a partisan challenge; it’s common sense. Our physical health, our social happiness, and our economic well­being will be sustained only by all of us working in partnership as thoughtful, effective stewards of our natural resources.

— Ronald Reagan

Reagan loved nature, and always considered himself an environmentalist. He probably also had super powers like Captain Planet. Here are some reasons why…

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1) He helped fix the hole in the ozone layer by championing the Montreal Protocol treaty banning ozone-depleting CFCs.

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Beach-goers rejoiced.

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2) He saved 145,000 acres of forests in California for state parks, designated new wilderness areas such as Mount St. Helens, and enlarged and merged protected areas for the John Muir trail.

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3) Ambient levels of airborne lead fell 85 percent during Reagan’s presidency, largely due to his administration’s push to phase out leaded gasoline and commercial lead production. Reagan also established the Air Resources Board to fix California’s awful smog problem.

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And we can all breath deeply.

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4) He pushed for conservation compliance requirements in the Farm Bill to save wetlands and prairies.

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5) He signed the Coastal Barrier Resources Act of 1982, to protect coastal barriers and prevent taxpayer dollars from subsidizing the development of these risky and environmentally sensitive areas.

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Want to know more? Check out this page on President Reagan’s conservation legacy.

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