WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Wildlife Federation applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act, which conserves and restores some of the most cherished landscapes and watersheds in our nation while expanding outdoor recreation opportunities. The bill encompasses eight previously-introduced measures and will conserve 1.49 million acres of wilderness, designate more 1,000 miles of river as “wild and scenic,” and permanently safeguard the areas around the Grand Canyon from uranium mining. The locally-based, collaborative initiatives in this bill can serve as a model for the president’s commitment to conserving and restoring 30% of our lands and waters by 2030.
“Passage of this bill will not only expand outdoor recreation opportunities, but will also safeguard the Grand Canyon and its waterways from uranium pollution that can contaminate drinking water, and put the lands we love at risk,” said Camilla Simon, executive director of HECHO (Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors). “Conservation and restoration of these cherished lands is an opportunity to heal and protect the cultural landscapes that our communities are deeply connected to, while expanding access to outdoor recreation opportunities that will provide a dynamic future for all Americans.”
“The Grand Canyon is one of the great wonders of the natural world. It’s time to permanently protect the lands surrounding the national park so that future generations can continue to be amazed by its pristine beauty,” said Scott Garlid, executive director of the Arizona Wildlife Federation. “This bill will protect critical wildlife habitat, expand opportunities for outdoor recreation, and ensure clean water for nearby Indigenous communities and 40-million users downstream.”
“The CORE Act is the result of many local stakeholders working together to decide how to best safeguard important areas in Colorado: conserving 400,000 acres of public lands, protecting a migration corridor, improving Greater sage-grouse habitat, and withdrawing acres of important wildlife habitat in the Thompson Divide area from future oil and gas development,” said Suzanne O'Neill, executive director of the Colorado Wildlife Federation. "This bill is good for wildlife and outdoor recreationists, and it will help create jobs at a time when they are so desperately needed."
The “Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act” also permanently authorizes the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program, which awards grants for equity-focused parks, recreation and greenspace projects.
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