Statement on passage of Natural Resources Management Act S.47

Statement on passage of Natural Resources Management Act S.47

ConservationNWAdmin / Feb 12, 2019 / Legislation, News Releases, Public Lands

In response to a vote today in the U.S. Senate passing S. 47 (92 ayes, 8 nos), the bipartisan Natural Resources Management Act of 2019 co-sponsored by Washington Senator Maria Cantwell, Conservation Northwest released the following statement:

“This monumental vote affirms that bipartisan support continues for protection of our cherished public lands,” said Mitch Friedman, Executive Director of Conservation Northwest. “One reason for that is that public support for public lands remains strong and broad. Another reason is leadership in the Senate, especially by Senator Cantwell driving this issue forward over years and countless obstacles. She deserves our great thanks.”

S. 47 includes provisions that would permanently protect the Methow Headwaters from industrial mining. Photo: Benjamin Drummond / Lighthawk

As a long-time regional leader in protecting, connecting and restoring wildlands and wildlife, Conservation Northwest welcomes the passage of this historic public lands package in the Senate, and looks forward to similar support for America’s natural heritage in the House.

Conservation Northwest will soon share an action alert for our Washington state members to contact their Representatives in the U.S. House urging support for S. 47. 

“The comprehensive public lands package is the product of years’ worth of work and negotiations by the authorizing committees. It is thoroughly bipartisan in nature and broad in scope, and passage of this package would be a historical step forward for public lands and conservation,” said Collin O’Mara, CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, of which Conservation Northwest is the Washington State Affiliate Organization.

The public lands package includes reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund and permanently protecting the Methow Headwaters from industrial mining, among other important provisions.

In a news release, leaders of the Methow Headwaters Campaign also praised passage of S. 47. 

“We are very appreciative of the Senate’s action in support of our community and all that makes the Methow Valley a special place. There are many areas where mining is appropriate, but the Methow Headwaters is not such a place,” said Maggie Coon of the Methow Headwaters Campaign. “We are grateful for the continued leadership of Washington’s Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray in championing this effort to protect the economy, local jobs, wildlife, and the quality of life in the Methow Valley.”

More information on S. 47 is available from Senator Cantwell, our partners at the National Wildlife Federation, the LWCF Coalition, and in this February 12, 2019 Seattle Times article: Here’s what the massive public-lands bill means for conservation, climate change in Washington state.

Mount Baker towers over the San Juan Islands, where the Land and Water Conservation Fund has improved public access and protected important habitat for fish and wildlife. Photo: Chase Gunnell