Senate Takes Historic Bipartisan Steps for Conservation, Outdoorsmen & Women
The U.S. Senate today voted to support wildlife and sportsmen and women by passing the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012), which includes huge, historic gains for conservation, by a bipartisan 85-12 margin.
“The Senate has shown that bipartisanship is still possible in the cause of conservation and the interests of the American people,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “All Americans who care about conservation and the outdoors should thank their Senators who supported this historic legislation I would particularly like to recognize the conservation leadership in this effort of Chairman Murkowski and Senators Cantwell, Heinrich, and Heller.”
Key conservation provisions in the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012):
- Permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is responsible for funding many of the local, state, and federal public lands all Americans use and enjoy. This is the first time either chamber of Congress has voted to permanently continue this core American conservation program. LWCF’s broad bipartisan support was also on display when the Senate rejected an amendment to use LWCF funds to cover public lands upkeep 34-63.
- Sportsmen and women got a big boost from the 97-0 passage of an amendment packaging together some of the most important sporting and public lands provisions in the Senate. Key section include:
- Reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act which provides matching grants for wetlands conservation projects;
- The National Fish Habitat Conservation act, which encourages public-private fish conservation partnerships;
- Multiple provisions making hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on federal public lands easier and better.
- Renewable energy and the environment will benefit from an amendment promoting a responsible, coordinated approach to renewable energy projects on public lands through management plans identifying priority areas for solar, wind and geothermal projects. We hope in the future the Senate will reinsert language reinvesting income from public land renewable energy projects into local communities and wildlife conservation.