|WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, members of the Western Caucus issued statements reacting to the passage of the Lands Package in the House of Representatives:
Chairman Paul Gosar (AZ-04): "After years of collaboration with stakeholders, landowners and other policymakers, I’m proud to have five of my bills included in this lands package and see them headed to President Trump’s desk. These victories were bottom-up priorities put on my plate by county supervisors and people in my district. For far too long, Arizonans have suffered from poor federal lands policies and overreaching mandates enacted by out-of-touch Washington bureaucrats. This package consolidates multiple checkerboards of land, returns control to the people on the ground, and increases multiple-use as well as economic development opportunities for several communities in Arizona. I thank House Natural Resources Ranking Republican Rob Bishop and his team for working with me to secure numerous wins for the people of Arizona’s Fourth District."
House Natural Resources Ranking Republican Rob Bishop (UT-01): "The number of Utah victories in this lands package will do more for the people of Utah than Congress has delivered in a long time. This legislation will expand access to public lands, while also shrinking the size of the federal estate. They’re are wins for America’s sportsmen, hunters, and fishermen. This bill establishes monuments the right way and reforms LWCF to the benefit of state and local governments and sportsmen. This legislation promotes the richness of Utah’s history, empowers school children, and communicates a profound respect for local decision-making. While no legislation is ever perfect, I am perfectly content voting for this pro-Utah package."
Vice-Chairman for Indian Affairs and Oceans Don Young (AK-At Large): "As Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, I applaud the passage of the Natural Resources Management Act. Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have championed our National Parks and have fought to ensure the American public fair access to our public lands. This bipartisan-bicameral compromise includes many of my legislative priorities from the 115th Congress. It also contains a much needed re-authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and improves access to federal lands for sportsmen in our state. I look forward to the President signing the this bill into law."
Executive Vice-Chairman Scott Tipton (CO-03): "From fishing and kayaking, to skiing and hiking, public lands provide valuable recreation opportunities for all Americans. I am glad to see this vitally important legislation get passed through Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support. This bill will help to ensure responsible management and preservation of public lands for decades to come. I am especially pleased that the package contained several bills I have championed over the past few years, including the Fowler and Boskoff Peaks Designation Act, which will honor the lives of the late avid mountaineers, Charlie Fowler and Christine Boskoff, and the Every Kid Outdoors Act, which makes permanent a program to provide free-entry to federally managed lands to fourth grade students."
Congresswoman Aumua Amata Radewagen (American Samoa-At Large): "Congratulations to my friend Chairman Murkowski and many others who supported this legislation. Along with many benefits to National Parks and new wilderness areas, I appreciate the stronger volcano warning efforts, including setting the stage for better monitoring of Pacific Rim volcanoes."
Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03): "As the former Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and a conservationist, I believe this lands package is the right move for America’s sportsmen and women in order to ensure access to public lands for sporting activities. This legislation is a win for the entire conservation community so we all can continue to enjoy God’s beautiful creation."
Congressman Steve Watkins (KS-02): "I am thrilled to see the bipartisan Lands Package pass the House today. This package includes my timely legislation protecting and enhancing the Fort Scott National Historic Site in Fort Scott, Kansas. By allowing the Park Service to incorporate a local historic Union Army structure, this legislation solidifies the Fort Scott community’s contribution toward preserving our Union during the Civil War era."
Today, the House of Representatives passed S.47, the Natural Resources Management Act, introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
The bipartisan agreement contained in this legislation includes more than 120 bills addressing various land and natural resource management issues (~78 Republican and 47 Democrat bills).
The Western Caucus has not taken an official position on the actual package. However, 9 of the then 11 Western Caucus Executive Committee Members sent a letter requesting a nearly identical package be brought before the House last December.
A helpful summary document provided by the House Committee on Natural Resources Minority staff is attached.
The text of the bill can be found HERE. A list of supporters when this legislation passed the Senate can be found HERE. A helpful question and answer page can be found HERE. A title by title summary of the bill can be found HERE. A short summary of each section in the package and the process document can be found HERE.