Congresswoman Lee Votes to Pass Historic Public Lands Package That Protects Our Environment, Boosts Our Economy, and Conserves American History

Washington, D.C. – Today Congresswoman Lee voted to pass the historic Natural Resources Management Act, a bipartisan conservation and public lands package that includes permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and designates approximately 1.3 million acres of wilderness, 693,000 acres of recreation and conservation areas, and two mineral withdrawal areas totaling 370,000 acres, protecting nearly 2.4 million acres of public lands in total from future mining operations.

“Passing this bill today is a huge win for our environment and For The People,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Protecting our public lands and natural resources isn’t just the popular thing to do – it’s the right thing to do. This bill moves us away from short-term environmental thinking toward the modern conservation system we all deserve. Thanks to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, places in California like Joshua Tree and Yosemite are open to all Americans – and now the Fund can continue helping communities around the country meet their potential. I’m proud to support this landmark package and look forward to seeing it become law.”

The bill’s conservation measures are expected to generate significant economic activity and, among other items, will expand two national parks and protect others from new mining activity.

LWCF – which has funded 42,000 projects across the country, bringing tremendous economic benefits and returns on investment since it was established in 1965 – has expired twice in recent years. Today’s bill reauthorizing the law removes it from future political consideration and prevents any future expirations.

Among other measures, the bill will impact the country in the following ways:

Public Lands

  • designate more than 1 million acres of wilderness on federal land in California, Oregon, Utah, and New Mexico;
  • add five new national recreation areas;
  • expand Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley National Park and Mojave National Preserve; and
  • cut off new mining activities in areas north of Yellowstone National Park and outside North Cascades National Park.

African American History

  • protect the home of Medgar and Myrlie Evers, passionate advocates for justice and equity during the Civil Rights Movement;
  • expand the Reconstruction Era National Monument into a National Historic Park;
  • create a Reconstruction Era National Historic Network to coordinate historical preservation and education efforts;
  • reauthorize the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Historic Preservation Program.

# # #