The president today signed into law a landmark bipartisan public lands bill that secures protections for more than 2.5 million acres of public lands and more than 500 miles of wild river. The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, a comprehensive public lands package that was years in the making, also permanently authorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a 54-year program that allocates up to $900 million annually to conserving local, state and federal lands, and providing opportunities for recreation.
The bill bundles more than 100 pieces of legislation that represent the diverse interests of recreationists—from hunters and anglers to hikers and mountain bikers. Among the legislation to benefit the outdoors, the bill, which received overwhelming support in the House and Senate, makes possible the following:
- Nearly 1 million acres of public land in Utah’s San Rafael Swell will receive Recreation and Wilderness Area designations.
- Approximately 99,653 acres of Oregon land will become the Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Management Area in the name of Frank and Jeanne Moore, avid stewards of Oregon’s free-flowing rivers.
- Every Kid Outdoors, a program that grants fourth-graders and their families free access to federal public lands, including national parks, will now become a codified, official program.
- The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act, which grants opportunities to conserve public lands for young people and veterans in national service positions, will be updated with a portion of the bill that was introduced by the late Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican.
- Washington state’s 1.5-million-acre Mountains to Sound Greenway will now become a National Heritage Area.
To read more about the bill, read the Co-op Journal’s previous coverage: