House Passes Largest Public Lands Overhaul in Decades

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Washington, February 26, 2019 | comments

Congressman Jack Bergman released the following statement after voting in favor of the Natural Resources Management Act:

"I'm proud to send this public lands package to President Trump's desk. Michigan's First District is home to some of the nation's most precious natural resources including three National Forests and four National Parks. This bill protects the future of  a rich sportsman and outdoor recreation heritage by keeping our public lands open for public use. 

"Additionally, this package permanently authorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), ensuring that successful conservation efforts in the First District made possible by LWCF funding continue for years to come. This is welcome news in the First District and a great next step towards conservation efforts throughout the state. This bill is a clear example of what can be done in Washington when we set politics aside and get our work done."

The Natural Resource Management Act:

- Contains 84 Republican and 43 Democrat bills addressing land and natural resource management challenges;
- Includes language requiring Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands to be open for recreational hunting fishing and shooting unless specifically closed;
- Provides authorization for the lawful transportation of bows and crossbows on National Park Service lands;
- Includes limitations on federal acquisition under the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and requires a minimum of 40% of total annual funds to be allocated to the stateside grant program;
- Directs the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to annually identify lands where sporting related activities are permitted, but where access is currently unavailable or restricted;
- Requires that a minimum of $15 million or 3% of total annual LWCF funding be used to maintain or increase access to existing federal lands; and
- Requires any new federal acquisitions to take into consideration management efficiencies, cost savings, geographic distribution, and other criteria.

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