A Win for Public Lands: Senate passes the decade’s biggest public lands package

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Last year, lawmakers came together to create the bipartisan Natural Resources Management Act, combining dozens of public land provisions.

Yesterday, the Senate passed the bill. The bill will protect 2.5 million acres of public land, nearly 400 river miles, and reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Some of the protected lands include 30,000 acres of National Forest Lands adjacent to the Beartooth Wilderness and Yellowstone National Park from industrial scale gold mining, and an expansion of Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks.

In the southeast, there will be significant expansions of existing national parks in Georgia: Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Ocmulgee Mounds National Historic Park, and Fort Frederica National Monument. Mississippi will add the new Medgar Evers Home national monument and Kentucky will add Mill Springs Battlefield and Camp Nelson national monuments.

The House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill and then hand it to President Trump for his signature. There has not been such a large public lands and recreation success since the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009.

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