Washington, D.C. - Today, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee marked up nearly two dozen public land, energy and natural resources bills, including five bills that will collectively ensure the protection of nearly 2 million acres of critical landscapes in California, Colorado, New Mexico and Oregon.
Brian Sybert, executive director of Conservation Lands Foundation, issued the following statement following the Committee’s vote to advance these bills:
“These bills, led by many of the biggest champions of nature in Congress, will protect vulnerable and valuable public lands and waters, safeguard the cultural continuity of Tribal Nations, and help rural economies thrive across the West. Most importantly, they have the support of local communities. We applaud the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for voting to advance the following bills:
- S. 636, the Dolores River National Conservation Area and Special Management Area Act, led by Colorado Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, protects more than 68,000 acres of public lands and 76 miles of the spectacular Dolores River.
- S. 1634, the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Economy (CORE) Act, also led by Colorado Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper, protects nearly 400,000 acres of public lands to ensure some of Colorado’s and America’s most iconic and historic places are preserved for the benefit of wildlife and local economies.
- S. 1776, the Protect Unique and Beautiful Landscapes by Investing in California (PUBLIC) Lands Act, led by California Senator Alex Padilla (and formerly led by the late California Senator Dianne Feinstein), protects more than one million acres of public wildlands and over 500 miles of free flowing rivers from the Los Angeles region to near the state’s northern border.
- S. 1890, the Malheur Community Empowerment for the Owyhee Act, led by Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, protects 1.1 million acres of the most important and threatened places in the Owyhee Canyonlands, establishes a science-based grazing program, transfers lands to the Trust for the Burns Paiute Tribe and provides essential economic development investments for Malheur County.
- S. 3033, the Pecos Watershed Protection Act, led by New Mexico Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan, protects critical portions of the Pecos Watershed from mineral development and potential resulting contamination of this essential water source.
We applaud all of the Senators who voted to advance these bills from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, many with bipartisan support, and urge the full Senate to pass these bills as soon as possible.”
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About Conservation Lands Foundation
Conservation Lands Foundation leads the only national movement of grassroots advocates to protect, restore and expand National Conservation Lands. CLF is headquartered in Durango, Colorado with field offices throughout the West and in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit conservationlands.org.