Passage of public lands bill is a huge step forward



February 20, 2019 - 10:40 AM

On Feb. 12, the U.S. Senate, by an overwhelming 92-8 margin, passed an omnibus package that rolled together more than 100 separate public land and water bills, some of which had languished for more than a decade.

As an academic specializing in U.S. public lands, I consider S.47, the Natural Resources Management Act, to be an epic conservation achievement.

If passed by the House and signed by the president, as expected, it will add 1.3 million acres to the nation’s wilderness preservation system, protect 300,000 acres in a new recreation area in Utah’s iconic San Rafael Swell, designate 620 miles of wild and scenic rivers, create several new national monuments, expand several national parks and protect buffer areas around several others from mining.

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