Statement on House Passing the Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act

Contact: Nick Abraham, nabraham@lcv.org, 206-833-7021

Washington, D.C. — Today, the House passed H.R. 803: Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act. This legislation emphasizes collaboration, equitable access to nature, and the kind of locally-led preservation needed to move the nation to protect 30% of our lands and waters by 2030. The bill focuses on public lands in four states–Arizona, Colorado, California, and Washington–protecting 1.2 million acres from new drilling and mining, designating 1.5 million acres as protected wilderness, and adding 1,200 river miles into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. In response, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) affiliates in these four states issue the following statements:

“We thank Charmain Grijalva for his bold leadership to protect the Grand Canyon, as well as the indigenous advocates that have been working to protect this sacred place for generations. This bill will protect and preserve one of Arizona’s most iconic sites and the water surrounding it. We must all work to protect the Canyon for the environment, cultural heritage, and the wellbeing of our communities. We look forward to seeing this bill move through Congress and get signed into law.” – Laura Dent, Executive Director, Chispa Arizona

“In passing the CORE and Colorado Wilderness Acts, the U.S. House moved us one step closer to protecting some of Colorado’s most popular, iconic, and historic places. Thanks to the hard work of so many, our state and nation are one step closer to meeting the 30×30 vision of conserving 30 percent of our land and water by 2030.”- Kelly Nordini, Executive Director, Conservation Colorado

“This bill will protect more than a million acres of public lands and well over 500 miles of rivers in California, help address climate change, and make the outdoors more accessible to all. That’s a win for all of us and an important investment in climate action, especially as we work to meet the Biden administration’s goal of protecting 30% of our lands and waters by 2030. We are grateful for the leadership of our Representatives in the House and we are eager for this effort to move forward in the Senate.” – Mary Creasman, CEO, California League of Conservation Voters

“Recreation brings in billions of dollars to Washington and supports nearly 200,000 jobs across the state. Investing in the Olympic Peninsula means clean waterways, healthier salmon runs, and protection for centuries of tribal tradition. Forests and coastal lands are one of our strongest weapons against climate change and today’s vote was a down payment on President Biden’s commitment to set aside 30% of America’s land for conservation by 2030. But the credit for this win must go to the tribal leaders and local rural communities who have fought for years to protect the Olympics. We look forward to seeing this pass the Senate and make it to the President’s desk.” – Alyssa Macy, CEO, Washington Environmental Council and Washington Conservation Voters

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