Cantwell’s Bipartisan Public Lands Package Passes House of Representatives, Heads to President for Signature

Legislation permanently reauthorizes Land and Water Conservation Fund, designates over 1.3 million acres of new wilderness, creates four new national monuments; Over 110 individual pieces of legislation included in largest bipartisan package of public lands bills in more than decade

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, a bipartisan public lands package sponsored by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the former ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 363-62 with no amendments. After previously passing the Senate 92-8, the legislation now moves on to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law. 

“There’s nothing better than being outdoors. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is such an important tool, and fighting to preserve it has been a great honor,” Senator Cantwell said. “I am glad the House passed this important legislation, and I hope the president will sign it expeditiously.” 

The Natural Resources Management Act, introduced with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, designates more than 1.3 million acres of new wilderness areas and 694,000 acres of new recreation and conservation areas, and creates four new national monuments, among other major accomplishments. 

Often described as one of the country’s most important conservation programs, the Land and Water Conservation Fund expired on September 30, 2018, the second time in the past three years that Congress has failed to reauthorize the program. Cantwell’s legislation provides a permanent reauthorization for the LWCF, which has supported more than 42,000 state and local projects throughout the United States since its creation. 

The LWCF is also a key component of the nation’s booming outdoor recreation economy, which generates over $887 billion in annual consumer spending and supports 7.6 million American jobs. 

In total, the legislation contains more than 110 individual bills and is the largest bipartisan package of public lands bills in more than 10 years. It has been endorsed by more than 200 organizations throughout the country, including groups supporting conservation and wildlife preservation, outdoor recreation, and sportsmen and anglers. 

A one-pager with more information on the Senate’s public lands package is available HERE.