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Passage of Public Lands Package (S.47) by the Senate

Photo by Lisa Hupp / USFWS

February 13. 2019

The National Wildlife Refuge Association is thrilled that the Senate has passed a public lands package that includes reauthorization of one of the most important conservation laws in our nation – the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). However, we are profoundly disappointed that the bill included a provision that could result in the divestment of hundreds of thousands of acres of National Wildlife Refuge System and Bureau of Land Management lands in Alaska. We are requesting that the House of Representatives remove this provision prior to passage of S.47 in the House.

The provision, included in the bill by Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Lisa Murkowski, was proposed back in 2002 then withdrawn after strong criticism from the Bush Administration. The Department’s position at the time was that this provision would cause more problems than it would solve. We are disappointed that Senator Murkowski has now found a vehicle for a massive NWRS and BLM land giveaway.

Unfortunately, this becomes the second time in a decade that the Refuge System is the sacrificial lamb for a large public lands bill. First, it was a provision regarding a proposed road through the Izembek Refuge in the 2009 Public Lands Omnibus bill, and now this. Our nation must value the National Wildlife Refuge System as much as it values other public lands such as National Parks and our National Forests – both of which were exempted from this bill.

We hope the House of Representatives will consider amending the Senate version before they pass it and remove this portion of the bill.

While we celebrate the reauthorization of LWCF, we are saddened that it happened this way.

Click here and ask your U.S. Representative to remove this provision.

Additional reading:

Permanent link to this article: https://www.refugeassociation.org/2019/02/national-wildlife-refuge-statement-on-passage-of-public-lands-package-s-47-by-the-senate/

2 comments

  1. Lidar Survey says:

    Nice Post

  2. Askmetraveller says:

    Nice Article .

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