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House sends Trump important public lands bill that saves vital conservation agenda



TThe House approved Tuesday a bipartite package on public lands that will definitely re-authorize the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund, which Congress allows to expire in September.

Proponents say the bill, which was passed 363-62, is the largest public lands bill ever considered by Congress in a decade, bringing together 100 separate bills in one. The Senate passed it earlier this month on a 92-to-8 vote. The bill is now moving to the office of President Trump, who is expected to sign it.

The measure has garnered support from many interest groups, including the oil and gas industry, conservationists and public land advocates.

This measure protects the environment from 1.3 million acres as wilderness areas, a designation that prohibits development, roads and motor vehicles. It is removing 370,000 acres of federal land from mining development in Montana, around Yellowstone National Park and in Washington State. It also creates four new national monuments and expands five existing ones.

The law also permanently re-authorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, or LWCF, which funds public land projects with offshore drilling revenues, not taxpayers' money. It provides money to federal, provincial and local governments to purchase land and water to enhance national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other public spaces.

"I congratulate Presidents Grijalva and Bishop, a prominent member of the hierarchy, for their partnership and leadership in bringing this important package to the finish line in the House," said Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chair. of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Al-Raska. "Both chambers have officially supported this set of grounds, water management, sports and conservation measures."

Murkowski and Senator Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., An ex-Democrat on the committee, negotiated the bill at the last session of Congress with representatives Rob Bishop, R-Utah, then chair of the committee's natural resources committee. Chamber, and Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., The current president who held the first rank.

Although the bill was praised by conservation groups, they preferred that the Commission's expenditures be made mandatory and not subject to a process of appropriation. Actual program funding has fluctuated since its inception in 1964. Bishop and other Conservatives, however, were not supportive of this approach.

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