On Tuesday President Trump signed a wide-ranging public lands bill that creates five national monuments and expand several national parks. On the same day, the legislation permanently added 1.3 million acres of new wilderness and reauthorized the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports conservation and outdoor recreation projects nationwide. It’s the largest public lands bill Congress has considered in a decade, and it won large bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate.
More than 100 land and water conservation bills were combined to designate more than 350 miles of river as wild and scenic. Nearly 700,000 acres of new recreation and conservation areas were also created under the measure. The new law also withdraws 370,000 acres in Montana and Washington state from mineral development.
Here are reactions from business leaders and industry stakeholders in the fight to protect public lands.
Rose Marcario, CEO, Patagonia: “The signing of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act is an important moment in the conservation movement. The debate over the protection of public lands has shifted from a discussion about the pros and cons, to members of Congress from both parties uniting to protect wild places. This legislation supports outdoor recreation in every county in the country through the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, protects millions of acres and creates four new national monuments. The preservation of America’s public lands and waters is not only one of the greatest gifts we can leave for future generations, but it is also a critical step toward tackling the climate crisis head-on before it’s too late.”
Amy Roberts, Executive Director, Outdoor Industry Association: “The public lands package, just signed into law, is a welcome gift to Americans who love the outdoors, our fragile lands and waters and to future generations. We are proud of the Republicans and Democrats, public lands advocates, outdoor industry members and countless others who worked to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund and who pushed this package over the finish line. We look forward to working with local communities, federal agencies and more to implement the programs this bill authorizes, to seeing the economic growth for rural and urban communities this bill spurs and most importantly to gain others access to our great outdoors for all Americans.”
Whit Fosburgh, President and CEO, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership: “From elk habitat in the Rockies to trout fisheries in the Delaware River Basin, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has provided public access to our nation’s best hunting and fishing spots. The passage of this legislation proves that conservation is above partisan politics and that by working together we can leave a lasting legacy for the next generation of sportsmen and women. We now call on Congress to fully fund LWCF, sending resources to every corner of the country to benefit hunters and anglers.”