Western Caucus Members Applaud the Signing of Historic Lands Package

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Washington, March 12, 2019 | Emilio L. Navarrete | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, members of the Western Caucus released statements applauding President Trump’s signing of a historic federal lands package into law in the form of S.47
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For Immediate Release

Date: March 12, 2019

Contact: Emilio Navarrete

Emilio.Navarrete@mail.house.gov


Western Caucus Members Applaud the Signing of Historic Lands Package

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, members of the Western Caucus released statements applauding President Trump’s signing of a historic federal lands package into law in the form of S.47: 

Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul Gosar (AZ-04): "Today, is a great day for Arizona as President Trump signed five of my bills and two other bills that are good for the state into public law as part of a historic lands package. These victories are bottom-up initiatives brought to us by county supervisors and people on the ground. My five Arizona bills included in the package remove an outdated restriction limiting economic growth for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Yavapai County, convey nearly 6,000 acres back to La Paz county to allow for new economic development opportunities in a county with only 5% private land, benefit local communities and families in Cornville by allowing for expansion of Windmill Park, allow Bullhead City to provide new recreational opportunities and address the Bureau of Reclamation maintenance backlog to ensure an abundant supply of clean water and power for future generations. I thank House Natural Resources Ranking Republican Rob Bishop, Senator Lisa Murkowski and President Donald Trump for reversing years of poor federal land policy. It was an honor to join the President in the Oval Office for this historic signing. I congratulate and thank the La Paz and Yavapai County Supervisors and other local elected officials, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s President Butler and his exceptional staff, Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady and team, and all the people in Arizona that worked hard to make these bills happen and get them over the finish line."

Chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Lisa Murkowski (AK): "I thank President Trump for signing our lands package into law. His effort to achieve energy dominance for our nation while simultaneously working with us to create a conservation legacy with this lands package exceeds the accomplishments of his recent predecessors. This law will benefit every state and clear the deck of issues that we’ve been working to resolve for years. From providing access for sportsmen to creating new economic opportunities for local communities, this is a good, balanced measure. We built it through a team effort that drew strong support from both parties in both chambers. Today is a triumph for good process and good policy, and this bill is a win for Alaskans and all Americans."

Vice-Chairman for Indian Affairs and Oceans Don Young (AK-At Large): "Unlike most other states, the Federal Government largely owns and controls a majority of Alaska’s land. Since I arrived in Congress, I have been fighting to return control of our land to those who know and treasure it best: Alaskans. I am pleased that this bill includes provisions that will allow Alaskans to develop energy on their lands and allows for greater exportation of Alaska timber. This bill also makes good on Congress’ promise of land allotments to our Alaska Native Vietnam Veterans. I applaud my friends on both sides of the aisle for making this legislation a reality, and I am grateful to President Trump for signing it into law."

House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Republican Rob Bishop (UT-01): "Local voices impacted by public lands throughout our country have been heard.  Today commemorates a bipartisan achievement that has been years in the making, and I’d like to thank President Trump for signing this valuable legislation into law.  This bill is a victory for America’s sportsmen, local governments, public lands, and rightfully establishes monuments the right way.  This achievement carries great meaning for my home state of Utah, and I’m proud to see this day finally arrive."

Chief Rules Officer Dan Newhouse (WA-04): "The future of our region’s agriculture economy depends on access to water storage, and with President Trump signing Central Washington’s legislation priority into law, today is an exciting day for everyone in the Yakima River Basin. Not only does the success of this legislative effort show the way forward for bipartisan, bicameral cooperation, but it highlights the years-long work of state and local stakeholders, the agriculture community, irrigators, conservationists, and tribes as part of the Yakima Integrated Plan Workgroup and Implementation Committee. I was proud to work across the aisle with my colleagues to get this water solution bill for the Yakima Basin across the finish line."

Chief Budget Officer David Schweikert (AZ-06): "I am pleased to see this bi-partisan package be signed into law by the President today. This legislation will provide long-lasting support for Arizona families, communities, and outdoor enthusiasts by reforming and cutting the red-tape enacted by Washington bureaucrats on our federal lands. As Arizona is home to some of our nation’s most beautiful national parks, which my own family and I regularly enjoy visiting, I look forward to continuing to keep our public lands accessible for generations to come."

Rep. Dave Joyce (OH-14): "I was proud to join the President today as he signed this important legislation into law, authorizing increased funding for the historic Ohio & Erie Canalway and ensuring this National Heritage Area can continue to support thousands of Ohioan jobs and bring economic development to the Buckeye State. As the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, I look forward to continuing my work to preserve the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area and other national treasures like it across the country."

Rep. Dusty Johnson (SD-At Large): "After extensive work with Custer County commissioners, the U.S. Forest Service, and the airport, I am proud that common-sense legislation to transfer land to the Custer County Airport and give it full ownership was included in S.47. If you look at this bill on the facts, on its potential to positively impact people’s lives, this is a good bill, and I’m glad to see it signed into law."

Rep. Aumua Amata Radewagen (American Samoa-At Large): "This new law will help encourage outdoor recreation, strengthen our National Parks system, create new wilderness areas, and improve volcano warning efforts, leading to better monitoring of Pacific Rim volcanoes. Congratulations to my friends Chairwoman Murkowski, Ranking Member Bishop, Dean of the House Young and all those who were part of this effort."

Rep. Steve Watkins (KS-02): "This is a monumental day for the Fort Scott community and the people of Eastern Kansas. With the stroke of a pen, the Fort Scott community’s years of hard work and legacy of preserving our Union during the Civil War has been cemented. I applaud the President in moving quickly on signing this legislation into law."

Rep. Greg Gianforte (MT-At Large): "Today, we celebrate this new law, this victory for Montana. Communities throughout Montana came together in support of conserving our public lands, and they deserve a lot of credit for getting this across the finish line. I’ll continue working with Montanans to improve public access to our public lands and protect our Montana way of life."

Rep. Paul Cook (CA-08): "It’s been a long process to get to this point, but this is truly a model for how grassroots legislating should work. This bill had widespread support from local governments, recreational groups, and conservation groups, as well as significant bipartisan support. It was a great honor to see President Trump recognize all of this hard work by signing S.47 into law today. I thank President Trump, my colleagues in the House and Senate, and most importantly all of those people on the ground who worked tirelessly to get a compromise bill that we could all be proud of. This is a huge legislative victory."

Background:

Today, March 12th, President Trump signed a historic federal lands package into law in the form of S.47.

The bipartisan agreement contained in this legislation includes approximately 78 Republican and 47 Democrat bills addressing various land and natural resource management issues.

The text of the bill can be found HERE. A list of supporters when this legislation passed the Senate can be found HERE. A helpful question and answer page can be found HERE. A title by title summary of  the bill can be found HERE. A short summary of each section in the package and the process document can be found HERE.

Courtesy of the House Committee on Natural Resources Minority

S. 47 provides for a net reduction in the federal estate. Roughly 18,000 acres of federally-owned land is conveyed outside of federal ownership and only 2,337 acres of non-federal land is acquired under the bill.

S.47 will lead to economic development across the west and greater public access to land and natural resources

The bill authorizes title transfer of certain federal water facilities to local communities and the expansion of local control over federal water projects.

S.47 makes reforms to the Land and Water Conservation Fund to curb federal acquisition, promote transparency and local input in federal land management, and increase access to existing federal lands.

Courtesy of the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Majority

S. 47 contains measures that:
  • 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;
  • Improve western water management by increasing local control, promoting investment, and facilitating the recovery of endangered species; and
S. 47 highlights how the federal government is the landlord for many parts of the west, and how local communities depend on Congress to provide opportunities for economic development. For example, S. 47 includes a land conveyance for La Paz County, Arizona, to allow for development of a solar farm that will create jobs and generate renewable energy.



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