The Senate on Tuesday approved a major public lands bill that revives a popular conservation program, adds 1.3 million acres of new wilderness, expands several national parks and creates five new national monuments.
The measure, the largest public lands bill considered by Congress in a decade, combines more than 100 separate bills that designate more than 350 miles of river as wild and scenic, add 2,600 miles of new federal trails and create nearly 700,000 acres of new recreation and conservation areas. The bill also withdraws 370,000 acres in Montana and Washington state from mineral development.
The Senate approved the bill, 92-8, sending it to the House.
Lawmakers from both parties said the bill’s most important provision was to permanently reauthorize the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the country. The program expired last fall after Congress could not agree on language to extend it.
With files from the Associated Press.
AirTalk invited Senator Dianne Feinstein to join us for our conversation but she was not available for comment.
Dawn Rowe, supervisor representing San Bernardino County's 3rd District, which includes the cities of Redlands, Yucaipa, Loma Linda, Twentynine Palms, and Yucca Valley, along with the unincorporated communities of Joshua Tree, Johnson Valley, and Lucerne Valley