House Passes Public Lands Protection Bills

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives today passed two pieces of legislation that would offer key protection to treasured public lands.

The following is a statement from Kabir Green, director of federal affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council: 

“At a time when the Trump administration is carving up our public lands and auctioning them off to corporate interests who’d destroy them for profit, this legislation is critical.

“These special places in the American west reflect our country’s cultural roots, offer a place for recreation and reflection, and include huge swaths of wilderness that help us fight climate change.

“The Senate should follow the House’s lead in walling off these public resources from extraction and ruin.”

The bills include:

  • The “Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act,” H.R. 2181, which restricts oil and gas drilling within a radius of about 10 miles around New Mexico’s Chaco Culture National Historical Park; and,
  • The “Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act,” H.R. 1373, a proposal to permanently ban uranium mining around Grand Canyon National Park

The House is expected to vote on a third public lands bill, the “Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act,” H.R. 823, tomorrow.  The CORE Act would designate large wilderness and recreation areas, among other things.  

For more on the Chaco bill, here is a blog by Alison Kelly, senior attorney with NRDC’s Nature program.

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.



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