Trump Signs Bill to Permanently Authorize Conservation Fund
President Donald Trump signed a major conservation bill Tuesday that permanently authorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund and designates more than one million acres of land for wilderness protection.
The public lands bill creates five new national monuments and expands several national parks.
Congress approved the measure in February.
Permanent authorization of the conservation fund is a big step as the fund, created in the 1960s, had until now been renewed for only a few years at a time. It expired in late September when Congress did not renew it.
The program uses fees and royalties paid by oil and gas companies drilling in federal waters to pay for land conservation programs.
“Today’s passage of a bipartisan public lands package, including permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and numerous conservation measures, represents a historic victory for our wildlife heritage and outdoor enthusiasts of every stripe,” Collin O’Mara, president and chief executive of the National Wildlife Federation, said after Congress sent the bill to the president.
The bill gives wilderness protection to 1.3 million acres in Utah, New Mexico, Oregon, and California. Less-stringent protection will be given to land in Montana and Washington state.
It will also designate about 225 miles of river in Connecticut and Massachusetts and 280 miles of river in Oregon as wild, scenic, or recreational.
The new monuments are the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument in Mississippi; the Mill Springs and Camp Nelson national monuments in Kentucky; the former Saint Francis Dam site in Southern California; and the Jurassic National Monument in Utah.
Here’s the background on the LWCF
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