House Passes Historic Public Lands Bill Protecting Nearly 3M Acres

"Large land protection package combines various bills that languished under Trump – but now must pass a divided Senate"

"The US House of Representatives has passed a historic public lands preservation bill that pledges to protect nearly 3m acres of federal lands in Colorado, California, Washington and Arizona.

The act combines various bills that languished without Senate approval during the Trump administration. Key provisions include permanently banning new uranium mining on land surrounding the Grand Canyon, giving wilderness designation to 1.5m acres of federal land, and preserving 1,000 river miles by adding them to the Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

“This is one of the largest public lands protection bills to ever go before Congress,” said Kristen Brengel, senior vice-president of government affairs for the National Parks Conservation Association. “Wilderness designation is the strongest protection there is to ensure the lands will never be developed. And it can’t be undone with the stroke of pen.”"

Annette McGivney reports for the Guardian February 26, 2021.

Source: Guardian, 03/01/2021