What They're Saying in Support of the Natural Resources Management Act

S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act, is a bipartisan package of more than 120 public lands, natural resources, sportsmen, conservation, and water management bills that was introduced in January 2019 by Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and former committee Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.). Murkowski, ENR Ranking Member Manchin, and Cantwell led the Senate’s strong approval (92-8) of S. 47 on February 12. Today, the House is expected to vote on final passage of the lands package, sending it to the president’s desk for his signature.

S. 47 reflects the Senate-House agreement reached near the end of the last Congress. It strikes a balance between creating new opportunities for local economic development, primarily in western states, and limited, locally-supported conservation. The package will improve public lands management, protect treasured landscapes, and increase public access for recreation while protecting private property rights.

What They’re Saying About Senate Passage of the Natural Resources Management Act:

Washington Post: “The 662-page measure, which passed 92 to 8, represented an old-fashioned approach to dealmaking that has largely disappeared on Capitol Hill. Senators from across the ideological spectrum celebrated home-state gains and congratulated each other for bridging the partisan divide…‘We have also worked for months on a bipartisan, bicameral basis to truly negotiate every single word in this bill — literally down to one one-tenth of a mile for [a] certain designation,’ [Murkowski] said…House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl M Grijalva (D-Ariz.) hailed it as ‘an old-school green deal,’ saying he and the top Republican on his panel, Rep. Rob Bishop (Utah) ‘are happy to work together to get this across the finish line.’”

Anchorage Daily News: “The bipartisan package consists of some 120 bills addressing public lands, waters, conservation and access issues around the U.S. ‘It will improve monitoring and warning of volcanic eruptions, helping pilots and communities in Alaska and elsewhere,’ Murkowski said…[she] said the legislation is her most important work since her measure allowing oil and gas leasing in ANWR passed in late 2017.”

Associated Press (appeared in local and state publications including the Boston Globe (MA), Providence Journal (RI), KTAR News (AZ), Midland Daily News (MI), Daily Press (CA), Daily Comet (LA), Plainview Herald (TX), Virginian-Pilot (VA), Columbus Dispatch (OH), Tullahoma News (TN), and Tampa Bay Times (FL): “The Senate approved the bill, 92-8, sending it to the House…The hodgepodge bill offered something for nearly everyone, with projects stretching across the country…The bill includes provisions sponsored by more than half of the senators, Murkowski said, applauding a ‘very, very collaborative’ process.”

Alaska Public Media: “The U.S. Senate today passed a massive public lands bill, and to the delight of its sponsor, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the vote was overwhelming…Creating national monuments is often controversial (particularly when a president does it) but Murkowski negotiated this package with Senate Democrats and with House members of both parties, weeding out the deal-breakers and the poison pills.”

Salt Lake Tribune: “The bill passed 92-8 with support from both parties and now heads to the House. With Washington deeply divided on other issues, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said the passage of the 600-page measure – which includes more than 100 natural resource bills tucked inside – demonstrates ‘that maybe, just maybe we here in Congress can get something done.’”

The Denver Post: “A package of more than 100 bills that would increase conservation and access to the outdoors nationwide passed the U.S. Senate 92-8…Senate Bill 47, which now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives, is the culmination of years of negotiations in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which includes Colorado's Republican Sen. Cory Gardner. The package includes nine Colorado specific bills and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The LWCF collects money from offshore oil and gas drilling and spends it on projects that improve outdoor recreation. Its authorization expired in September.”

Cronkite News-Arizona PBS: “After months of gridlock, the Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill that permanently authorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund…Part of a sweeping 698-page public lands package that includes everything from local land transfers to wildfire initiatives to the designation of a National Nordic Museum. Arizona Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, and Martha McSally, a Republican, hailed the passage of the bill, noting that it included approval for federal-state land swaps across Arizona. They ranged from 9.5 acres in Coronado National Forest to be made available to private landowners, to as many as 8,800 acres to La Paz County for development of a solar power project there…McSally welcomed the inclusion of the Public Land Corps program, a proposal first pushed by the late Sen. John McCain that is aimed at combating the backlog of maintenance on public land.”

Billings Gazette: “The Senate passed an omnibus public lands bill on a vote of 92-8…allowing permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and blocking a proposed gold mine on the edge of Yellowstone National Park. [Montana Sen. Steve Daines] noted that Senate Bill 47 included a provision to help gain access to more than 2 million acres of public land that are landlocked by surrounding private property, as well as a bill to account for and publish payments made through the Equal Access to Justice Act, which allows private parties to recover their costs of successfully suing the federal government.”

For more information on the bipartisan lands package, click here.

Related Issues: Energy