Acting Secretary Bernhardt Signs Order to Prioritize Implementation of Bipartisan Public Lands Bill

Last edited 09/29/2021

Date: March 28, 2019

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed a secretarial order to establish a Departmental task force to facilitate and prioritize the implementation of S. 47, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (Dingell Act). The bill was made up of more than 100 individual bills that were introduced by 50 Senators and several House members. The Interior Department had advocated for in concept or worked with Members of Congress on many of the individual provisions that made up the package.

Secretarial Order 3374, Implementation of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act establishes a task force to ensure the timely and coordinated implementation of the Dingell Act and consistency among all offices and Bureaus within the Department of the Interior.

“We are taking a concrete step to ensure the Department efficiently and fully implements the most comprehensive public lands management legislation in a decade,” said Acting Secretary Bernhardt. “We will continue to work to strike the proper balance for land and resources management, increase access for hunting, fishing, and recreation, and create economic prosperity while protecting and preserving America’s treasures.”

“The entire recreation industry – from boating and fishing, hunting and snowmobiling, paddling and ORVing, skiing and climbing, to camping and biking – came together to support the passage of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, a monumental win for the recreation economy and outdoor enthusiasts across the country,” said Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Executive Director Jessica Wahl. “With today’s Secretarial Order, we look forward to the timely implementation of dozens of important recreation provisions that have been decades in the making, as well as partnering with the task force to ensure the full potential of this groundbreaking legislation is unlocked.”

“The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation praises Acting Secretary Bernhardt and the Interior Department for prioritizing the John Dingell Lands Package through this important Secretarial Order,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane. “S. 47 provides the most significant, positive advances for conservation as well as sportsmen’s access in a decade, and we look forward to working with the department and its bureaus during the implementation process.”

“Passage of John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (S.47), which included provisions of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act (21CSC), provides an opportunity to demonstrate a renewed commitment to a wide variety of conservation and recreation priorities for this Administration, including the engagement of youth, young adults, and veterans. We are pleased to see the establishment of a departmental task force to facilitate implementation of S.47. Our network stands ready to work with the task force and help make 21CSC a part of Interior’s conservation legacy,” said the Corps Network President and CEO and Partnership for the 21CSC Co-Chair Mary Ellen Sprenkel.


The task force will be chaired by the Associate Deputy Secretary with membership consisting of the Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals Management, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget, Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Areas, and the Solicitor.

Secretarial Order 3374 lays out timeframes for the task force to identify actionable steps and milestones, create an implementation plan for the Dingell Act, and manage a tracking database to ensure the Department meets all timelines laid out the bipartisan public lands bill.

DOI is entrusted with the conservation and management of the Nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people and future generations, which includes more than 500 million acres of Federal lands and resources.

About the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act

Throughout the Trump Administration, the Interior Department had advocated for in concept or worked with Members of Congress on many of the individual provisions that make up the Dingell Act. Below is a partial list of those proposals and actions the Administration has taken to advance these policies.

Department Proposed

Reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (Included as FY2019 Budget proposal)

Establishment of the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument (December 2017 report on National Monuments)

Testified in support of provisions as written or with changes

  • Reauthorization of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Historic Preservation Program
  • Establishment of the Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park
  • Alaska Native Veterans Land Allotment Equity Act
  • Rio Puerco Watershed Management Committee Reauthorization
  • Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Act
  • Udall Park Land Exchange Completion Act
  • Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Extension Act
  • Federal Closing Date for Hunting of Ducks, Mergansers, and Coots
  • National Geologic Mapping Act Reauthorization
  • Chugach Alaska Land Exchange Study
  • San Juan County Settlement Implementation Act
  • Acadia National Park Boundary Clarification Act
  • Santa Ana River Wash Plan Land Exchange
  • FDR Historic Preservation Act
  • Reconstruction Era National Historical Park Act
  • Pottawattamie County Reversionary Interest Conveyance Act
  • Mill Springs Battlefield National Monument Act
  • Helium Extraction Act
  • Emery County Public Land Management Act
  • Golden Spike 150th Anniversary Act
  • La Paz County Land Conveyance Act
  • Expansion of WaterSMART Program grants
  • Deschutes Canyon-Steelhead Falls Wilderness Study Area Boundary Adjustment
  • Robert Emmet Park Act
  • World War II Pacific Sites Establishment Act
  • Strengthening Coastal Communities Act

Departmental action to advance or support the concept or goal

  • Public lands are "open unless closed" to hunting and fishing - The Department has expanding hunting and fishing opportunities on dozens of wildlife refuges and thousands more acres of other public lands
  • Every Kid Outdoors Act - In 2018 the Department renewed the Every Kid in a Park program for a year, giving Congress more time to permanently authorize it
  • Allows sportsmen to carry unarmed bows across National Park Service land – The Department finalized the rule in October 2018
  • Identifies opportunities for recreation, hunting, and fishing on Federal lands - DOI initiated this process in a September 2017 Secretarial Order
  • Camp Nelson National Monument - President Trump designated Camp Nelson as a national monument in October 2018
  • African American Civil Rights Network Technical Corrections - The Department has designated a number of historic sites on the newly created network
  • Develop shooting ranges on public lands - In 2018 the Department began the process to allow the Bureau of Land Management to manage appropriate public lands as target shooting ranges

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