In an overwhelming 363-62 vote on Tuesday, the Natural Resources Management Act was passed by Congress. S.47, the bill being hailed as one of the most significant pieces of conservation legislation crafted in years, now heads to President Donald Trump for his expected approval.
The legislation would designate 1.3 million acres of land as wildnerness, create four national monuments, six new National Park Service units, expand on national parks such as Joshua Tree, Death Valley and the Mojave National Preserve, but most importantly, permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva deemed it a “massive win” for conservation in the U.S.
“We have united as a nation of public land owners and spoken up for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife. Backcountry Hunters & Anglers wrote in a post on Instagram. “We walk in the shadow of conservation giants and today we have honored their legacy. We now encourage the president to follow the leadership of the people and sign this package of bills into law.”
According to the Department of the Interior, the LWCF has invested $3.9 billion for the acquisition and development of public parks and other outdoor recreation sites.
In addition to protecting public lands, the act also renews the Every Kid Outdoors program, which grants fourth-graders and their families free admission to all national parks for the following seven years and approves the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act, which provides work opportunities to young adults and veterans to maintain the land.