We are fired up to share that Congress just passed the biggest public lands bill in recent history, and it now heads to the President’s desk to become law.
S.47, the Natural Resources Management Act, passed the Senate on February 12 by a margin of 92-8 and today, it passed the House by 363-62.
The package has a little something for everyone, but central piece of the legislation is the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). LWCF has been called “America’s best conservation program,” and it provides funding for local, state, and federal public lands. LWCF redirects a portion of revenue from offshore oil and gas drilling into conservation and has helped to create trails, parks, and recreation destinations in all 50 states. The program expired on September 30, 2018.
Some other highlights include:
The Emery County Public Lands Management Act
Methow Valley Mineral Withdrawal
Emigrant Crevice Withdrawal – Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act
Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area Act
Oregon Wildlands Act
Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation
The California Desert Protection and Recreation Act
Every Kid Outdoors
21st Century Service Corps Act
Getting this package across the finish line took a lot of work. Sometimes conservation and policy work can feel like a long and invisible marathon, where you painstakingly make progress with a bill without any promise that it will actually pass. It takes a lot of patience and a ton of outreach from the outdoor community to get things passed, and everyone involved in the public lands package should take a moment to feel really good about this work.
Over the last few weeks, thousands of you wrote letters and called your lawmakers to ask them to make the public lands package a priority. This outreach paid off. We’ll share more in the coming weeks but wanted to get the news in front of you quickly. If you’re keen to make more good stuff happen, don’t forget to write a quick note of thanks to your lawmakers. The better they feel about this package, the more public lands policy they pass in the near future.