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Blog

Our favorite stories about public lands and opportunities for you to get involved in protecting your outdoor experiences.

 

Senate passes historic public lands package!

Tania Lown-Hecht

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Outdoor Alliance has been working doggedly on a major package of public lands bills that includes programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and public lands protections, including the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area, Emery County Public Lands Initiative, Methow Headwaters, and Oregon Wildlands.

We are fired up to share that this evening, the Senate passed the public lands package (S.47) 92 to 8, and it’s moving on to the House.

The package includes some priorities we’ve worked on as a community for years. The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which expired in September 2018, is a key conservation program that provides funding for local, state, and public lands including National Parks and local trails. It’s a program we’ve talked about more times than we can count, and we’ve worked with lawmakers to get it reauthorized since long before its expiration. Outdoor Alliance and its Washington partners have had irons in the fire for five years to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway outside of Seattle as a National Heritage Area. We’d be sounding the bells if any single piece of this package were making progress through Congress, so to have a package comprising dozens of bills we’ve worked for and to have the stars align so it looks like the whole package might actually pass….well, it’s big news.

So how does this package get across the finish line? Right now, there are two key things for outdoor enthusiasts to do, and we’ve made it super easy. Write your Senators to thank them for passing the package, and then start hounding your House members to move and vote on it quickly. We’ve made it super simple to send both messages with just one click:

 The package isn’t perfect – there’s definitely more we’d like to have seen in there, and some things we’d just as soon have left out – but overall, this bill contains historic wins, and hopefully will help build momentum for more successes to come. This public lands package is the result of a ton of hard work from folks like you, Outdoor Alliance, and a ton of partners, and we’re fired up.