Murkowski, King Introduce Bill to Continue Geologic Mapping

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Angus King, I-Maine, this week introduced the National Geologic Mapping Act Reauthorization Act, which renews a national program for the geological mapping of the United States. Geologic maps are a multipurpose, basic data set used by public and private entities for resource exploration and extraction, natural hazards mitigation, ground and surface water management, environmental protection, and federal land management.

“We don’t have a detailed geologic map for even one-third of the United States, yet it lays the foundation for minimizing risks from natural hazards and is the linchpin to reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign minerals,” Murkowski said. “Reauthorizing this widely-supported program will help ensure responsible land management and provide the tools required to educate our next generation of mappers.”

“Comprehensive geologic mapping helps our researchers, scientists, and educators develop a better understanding of both environmental risks and economic potential,” King said. “By reauthorizing the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program, we can help ensure responsible environmental stewardship, mitigate natural hazards, and foster economic growth.”

The National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) was established through the National Geologic Mapping Act in 1992 and is administered by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). It was most recently reauthorized in 2009 and is set to expire in 2018. The program allows USGS and state geological surveys to map high priority federal and state areas, and to train students at universities in geologic mapping.

The full text of the legislation, which reauthorizes NCGMP through 2023, can be viewed here