Coalition Celebrates Passage of S. 47, Natural Resources Management Act
For Immediate Release: 12 February 2019
The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks is celebrating the passage of S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act, a bipartisan package that includes over 100 parks and public lands bills. Many of these bills have been pending in Congress for several years.
Coalition Chair Phil Francis says, “The passage of the Natural Resources Management Act is a win for national parks and public lands. We still have a long way to go in the fight to ensure our parks are fully funded and our resources are left ‘unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.’ But today, we celebrate this victory and thank our members of Congress for supporting America’s treasured natural and cultural resources.”
S. 47 permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), our nation’s primary source for preserving nationally significant public lands and providing recreational opportunities in communities across the country. The Coalition will continue to advocate for the full funding of LWCF, as it is a critical investment not only in our quality of life and the continued protection of our public lands, but also in the American economy.
While several sections of the Natural Resources Management Act impact other federal land management bureaus within the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, the majority of S. 47’s provisions address national parks and National Park Service programs.
The National Park System would expand with new park units once sufficient lands are acquired, including the Medgar Evers Home National Monument in Mississippi, and the Mill Springs Battlefield National Monument in Kentucky. Other national parks, such as Shiloh National Military Park and the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, are authorized to acquire additional land to expand their boundaries.
Other provisions of the bill include; the designation of several river segments as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System; additional wilderness designation and boundary expansions for the three California desert national parks; and the authorization of special resource studies at locations such as “Amache”, a Japanese American relocation site in Colorado during World War II, and in the neighborhood where Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall lived in his youth.
S. 47 also provides additional authorities for national parks to operate more efficiently. Some of these provisions include the authorization to use qualified volunteers in wildlife management on national park service lands, and the authorization for the Secretary of the Interior to establish and retain fees for medical services provided in units of the National Park System. Finally, the bill makes permanent the program begun during the Obama administration to provide free admission to all national parks and public lands for every fourth grader and their accompanying adults.
The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks is a reliable, respected, and effective advocate for achievement of the mission and goals of the National Park Service. Recognized as the Voices of Experience, CPANP studies, educates, speaks, and acts for the preservation and protection of the National Park System, and mission-related programs of the National Park Service. CPANP represents over 1,600 current, former, and retired employees and volunteers of the National Park Service, with over 35,000 collective years of stewardship of America’s most precious natural and cultural resources. More information can be found at https://protectnps.org.