Washington, D.C. - Conservation Lands Foundation applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today, which includes significant protections for more than 6.7 million acres of public lands in five states across the West.
“The House took a significant step today towards ensuring valuable and vulnerable areas of nature across the West are conserved for their essential role in climate resiliency and our general well-being today and for future generations,” said David Feinman, government affairs director. “We applaud the steadfast leadership of the conservation champions in the House of Representatives who introduced these amendments and ensured their inclusion in the NDAA, and we urge the Senate to follow the House’s lead in advancing these critical public lands conservation priorities.
The bill includes these public land protection amendments:
- The Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion Act, introduced by Rep. John Garamendi of California, which adds 3,925 acres to Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument in California.
- The Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act, introduced by Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado, which protects more than 400,000 acres of public lands in Colorado, further strengthening the state’s booming outdoor recreation economy.
- The Grand Canyon Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, which permanently bans new uranium mining on approximately one million acres of public lands surrounding Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.
- The Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands (PAW+) Act, introduced by Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado and including legislation introduced by Reps. Salud Carbajal, Judy Chu, Jared Huffman, Adam Schiff of California, and Rep. Derek Kilmer of Washington, which protects more than 1.3 million acres in California, Colorado, and Washington and ensures greater access to public lands, restores fish and wildlife habitats, and creates economic development opportunities through outdoor recreation.
- The Cerro de la Olla Wilderness Establishment Act, introduced by Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez of New Mexico, which establishes 13,103 acres of wilderness within the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument in New Mexico and provides permanent protection to a critical migratory passage for a range of species.
- An amendment to the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act of 2019, introduced by Rep. Raul Ruiz of California, which reaffirms the intent of that law that 4 million acres of public lands in California designated as California Desert National Conservation Lands and Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs) should be managed for conservation and withdrawn from prohibited uses.