Congress passes S.47, lands and water bill Bill now advances to President for signature into law
February 26, 2019
What’s News? On Tuesday, February 26, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 363-to-62 to advance the Natural Resources Management Act (S.47), a bipartisan, sweeping package of land and water bills of importance to sportsmen and women. Today’s vote follows one week after the Senate overwhelmingly approved the bill with a vote of 92-to-8 in favor. The legislation now goes to the President for signature. Visit http://standup.tu.org/ to thank your Members of Congress for their support of this important legislation.
What Does This Means for Trout Unlimited? S.47 is a uniquely bipartisan, sweeping package of land and water bills negotiated between leaders in the House and Senate. This bipartisan package includes several priorities for Trout Unlimited members that will help protect and restore trout and salmon fisheries and support local collaborative restoration projects. These provisions include: •
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), permanent reauthorization. The LWCF is our country’s premier conservation, fishing and hunting access program. While dedicated funding for this program is still needed, this step of securing permanent reauthorization is a critical step toward ensuring that the LWCF will continue to sustain our outdoor traditions for generations to come.
The USFWS’ Partners for Fish and Wildlife program, reauthorized through 2023. This program supports collaborative conservation partnerships between willing landowners and partners like Trout Unlimited to protect and restore fish habitat on private lands. The Partners for Fish and Wildlife provisions of the bill will ensure that the benefits of conservation and restoration extend to private lands in places such as West Virginia where we have installed over 300-miles of fence to protect creeks from over-grazing.
The Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Act includes federal authorizations needed to advance the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, a balanced package of actions that will restore hundreds of thousands of salmon and steelhead to the basin, improve water quality and quantity, and support a healthy agricultural and recreational economy. The Plan was agreed upon by a diverse coalition of conservation groups, irrigators, farmers, sportsmen and women, local, state, and federal governments and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.
The Methow Headwaters Protection Act would place 340,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service land in the Upper Methow Valley off limits to large-scale mining. This much-needed measure is critical to protect crucial coldwater habitat for rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, bull trout, mountain whitefish, Chinook salmon, and steelhead.
The Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Special Management Area Designation Act would protect around 100,000 acres on Steamboat Creek, an important spawning tributary of the North Umpqua River used by wild summer steelhead and spring Chinook. The designation is titled in honor of World War II veteran, Frank Moore, and his wife, Jeanne.
S.47, The Natural Resources Management Act House and Senate passage. (February 26, 2019)
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