The House is poised to fast-track a package to revive and permanently extend the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a measure that easily won Senate backing earlier this month, House Democratic and Republican aides told Bloomberg Environment.
The Democratic-controlled House is expected to bring the Senate-passed measure to the House floor on Feb. 26, according to a spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).
House lawmakers are expected to bring the bill up using a procedure that essentially fast-tracks noncontroversial bills.
The Senate voted 92-8 on Feb. 12 to pass an amended version of the Natural Resources Management Act (S. 47), a 695-page bill Senate measure to resurrect a conservation fund that expired Sept. 30.
The funding lapse has meant local communities can’t access funds for future community parks, bike trails, and hiking trails. The expiration also has prevented additional parcels from being added to national parks and wildlife refuges.
The conservation-lands package combines a measure to permanently reauthorize the conservation program, largely funded by receipts from oil and gas drilling along the Outer Continental Shelf, with a public lands bill that includes land exchanges in various states, additions to wilderness areas, and boundary revisions or additions to the Death Valley National Park, Mojave National Preserve, and Joshua Tree National Park.
The measure also is meant to improve access for fishing, hunting, and other outdoor recreation on certain public lands.
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