Coalition Applauds House Passage of Public Lands Bill
For Immediate Release:  26 February 2019

The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks is praising the House of Representative’s passage of S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act. This bipartisan package negotiated last year, recently passed the Senate by a vote of 98-2.

Coalition Chair Phil Francis says, “We celebrated when the Natural Resources Management Act passed the Senate and we are thrilled by its passage in the House today. The protection of our irreplaceable natural and cultural resources is truly a bipartisan issue and we applaud Congress for working together to ensure continued protection of our national parks and public lands.”

The bill, which includes over 100 parks and public lands bills, also establishes the permanent reauthorization of 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.

Francis says that although permanent reauthorization of LWCF is a huge step forward, 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.

S. 47 will protect more than two million acres of public land and greatly impact national parks and National Park Service programs. Among other provisions, S. 47 designates three new national monuments in Mississippi and Kentucky, including the home of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, and creates a new historical park and National Historic Network to mark the Reconstruction Era in South Carolina.

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 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.

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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.