Bernhardt Applauds Signing of Bipartisan Public Lands Bill

Last edited 09/29/2021

Date: March 12, 2019

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Department of the Interior Acting Secretary David Bernhardt applauded President Donald J. Trump for signing into law S.47, the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (formerly known as the Natural Resources Management Act). The President signed the bill at an Oval Office signing ceremony surrounded by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. 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.

“President Trump knows that federal lands are meant to provide both peace and prosperity for the American people, and signing this bill allows us to continue managing public lands in a balanced way,” said Acting Secretary David Bernhardt. “This bill is extremely beneficial to the American people and I look forward to working with Congress and local communities to implement the many local conservation wins within the bill.”

“I thank President Trump for signing our lands package into law. His effort to achieve energy dominance for our nation while simultaneously working with us to create a conservation legacy with this lands package exceeds the accomplishments of his recent predecessors,” said Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Lisa Murkowski (AK). “This law will benefit every state and clear the deck of issues that we’ve been working to resolve for years. From providing access for sportsmen to creating new economic opportunities for local communities, this is a good, balanced measure. We built it through a team effort that drew strong support from both parties in both chambers. Today is a triumph for good process and good policy, and this bill is a win for Alaskans and all Americans.”

“I was proud to join Senator Murkowski and my colleagues at the White House today as President Trump signed the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act into law,” said Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Joe Manchin (WV). “This legislation is an important reminder that when we work in a bipartisan way, the American people come out on top. This public lands bill permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, increases access to public lands for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting and greatly expands our recreation and conservation areas. West Virginians take great pride in our outdoor heritage and I’m especially proud we were able to finally designate the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area in 18 counties in West Virginia and Maryland as a National Heritage Area.”  

“Local voices impacted by public lands throughout our country have been heard,” said Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, Utah Congressman Rob Bishop. “Today commemorates a bipartisan achievement that has been years in the making, and I’d like to thank President Trump for signing this valuable legislation into law.  This bill is a victory for America’s sportsmen, local governments, public lands, and rightfully establishes monuments the right way.  This achievement carries great meaning for my home state of Utah, and I’m proud to see this day finally arrive.”  

During 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 S. 47. The Administration has also taken Departmental action to propose or advance these policies. Below is a partial list of those actions and proposals.

Department Proposed 

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
  • Mill Springs Battlefield National Monument
  • Helium Extraction Act 
  • Emery County Public Land Management 
  • Golden Spike 150th Anniversary Act
  • La Paz County Land Conveyance
  • Expands 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 

Took 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
  • Managing public lands as shooting ranges - In 2018 the Department began the process to allow the Bureau of Land Management to manage public lands as target shooting ranges

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