“Magnificent” Public Lands Package Heads to the President’s Desk

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, today welcomed the House of Representatives’ bipartisan approval of S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act. After the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 92 to 8 on February 12, the House passed it this afternoon by a vote of 363 to 62. The bill will now head to the president’s desk.

“I commend Chairman Grijalva and Ranking Member Bishop for their partnership and leadership to move this important package across the finish line in the House,” Murkowski said. “Both chambers are now on record in strong support of this package of lands, water management, sportsmen, and conservation measures. It took us years of bipartisan, bicameral work to reach this point, and I am hopeful the president will sign it into law very soon.”

Background Information

S. 47 is a bipartisan package of more than 120 public lands, resources, conservation, and water management bills. Murkowski and former ENR Ranking Member Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., introduced the bill in January 2019. The package was negotiated in the 115th Congress with then-Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and then-Ranking Member Raul Grijalva of the House Committee on Natural Resources. The vast majority of bills within it underwent extensive public process and review in the House, the Senate, or both.

S. 47 contains provisions sponsored by 50 Senators and cosponsored by nearly 90 Senators in the 115th Congress. Those include measures to:

  • Permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, with key reforms to strengthen its state-side program; 
  • Increase access and opportunities for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreational activities on federal lands;
  • Provide for economic development in dozens of communities through land exchanges and conveyances; and
  • Conserve lands of special importance, provided that such protections are supported by the affected state and surrounding communities.

During floor debate on S. 47, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., described the bill as a “magnificent” lands package. 

More information on S. 47 is available here.

Related Issues: Energy