Trump Signs Bill to Permanently Authorize Conservation Fund

Updated

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

Feature image via

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 3

  • Hummingbird Ellie : Mar 1st

    This is Great News! May it be spent wisely. Get out there and enjoy nature to it’s fullest!

    Reply
  • Matthew Winslow : Mar 8th

    I wish there was more protection now across the AT with the new pipeline going in. Worry the impact will have on hikers. Other designated state trails should be protected too

    Reply
    • MeGa way 2017 : Mar 18th

      A pipe line an’t much too worry about…But all these trail parking lots that used to hold 3 cars , Now hold 30…And makin the AT rougher than it was 30 years ago when i first did my first Thru Hike…Now i have done5 and its really sad that people worry about a 100 foot cut in the forest, But not a beautiful wooden trail to rock climbing one…..

      Reply

What Do You Think?