Update: On February 26th, the House also passed #LandsPackage2019 (SB.47) by a wide bi-partisan majority just weeks after the Senate passed the package on a vote of 92-8, both votes send a strong bi-partisan message on the importance of conservation and public lands.
The bill was the most important conservation package to pass the Senate in the last 10 years. Sen. Cory Gardner (CO) was instrumental in working with leadership and shepherding the package through the Senate.
Most notably the package included a permanent authorization of the Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which has been vital to driving the growth in the outdoor recreation economy across the Western U.S. Additionally, the package protects 1.3 million acres as wilderness, establishes four new national monuments, adds three new national parks units, and makes all federal lands open to hunting fishing, and recreational shooting unless otherwise specified.
Upon passage of the bill Senator Gardner said:
“After four years of working on this issue, the Senate was finally able to permanently reauthorize the crown jewel of conservation programs, the Land and Water Conservation Fund. I have championed this program throughout my time in the Senate because of how important it is to all Coloradans who love our great outdoors. The program has a direct impact on public lands in Colorado and will be used to protect our state’s natural beauty for future generations. I’m thrilled we were able to finally permanently reauthorize this commonsense program supported by Coloradans across the political spectrum. This is a great day for the future of Colorado’s public lands.”
TWW thanks the Western Senators who overwhelmingly voted in favor of the lands package, including:
Arizona: McSally & Sinema
Colorado: Bennet & Gardner
Idaho: Crapo & Risch
Montana: Daines & Tester
Nevada: Cortez Masto & Rosen
New Mexico: Heinrich & Udall
Wyoming: Barrasso & Enzi