Public lands package passes House, sent to president

By Laura Bies

In the South Fork of the Snake River in Idaho, Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars have supported numerous conservation efforts. ©BLM Idaho

The House voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bipartisan public lands package last week, a week after the Senate did the same. It now goes to the president’s desk to be signed.

The Natural Resources Management Act (S. 47) contains more than 100 different bills affecting public lands and conservation, including permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. During the last Congress, LWCF expired Sept. 30, after several attempts to pass reauthorization during the last Congress failed. The LWCF allows proceeds from oil and gas drilling on federal lands and waters to be used to acquire parks, forests, recreation areas, wildlife habitat and cultural sites around the country for conservation and public access.

The legislation also reauthorizes the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, which provides grants for to conserve populations and habitats of neotropical migratory birds. The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, which works with private landowners who want to voluntarily undertake habitat restoration projects on their lands, was also reauthorized through the public lands package.

Laura BiesLaura Bies is a government relations contractor and freelance writer for The Wildlife Society. She has a B.S. in Environmental Science and a law degree from George Washington University. Laura has worked with The Wildlife Society since 2005. Read more of Laura's articles.

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