Murkowski, Manchin, and Cantwell Secure Senate Passage of Bipartisan Lands Package

February 12, 2019

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), Ranking Member Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and ENR Committee member Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., today led the Senate’s strong bipartisan approval of S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act. The Senate passed the legislation this afternoon on a final vote of 92 to 8, and it will now head to the House of Representatives.

“The Senate’s overwhelming approval of this bipartisan lands package is a significant victory for Alaska and states across the country, particularly out west. From increasing access to federal lands for sportsmen, to creating new economic opportunities for local communities, and protecting Americans from natural hazards, our bill addresses a wide range of priorities important to many Americans,” Murkowski said. “I’m proud of the work we have done and hope this package can move quickly through the House and be signed into law.”

“I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass a public lands bill with broad bipartisan support. We have finally permanently reauthorized LWCF so our land management agencies can operate fully and without the fear of losing access to the funding they rely on. West Virginia has a rich cultural history and at the core of that is our deep appreciation for the natural wonders we are blessed with. Our little state is as wild as it is wonderful and we take great pride in our access to the great outdoors. This package is a win for West Virginia and a win for every community across the country,” Manchin said.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been a pre-eminent program for access to public lands,” Cantwell said. “It gives local communities the tools and resources to manage public lands, to give more access to the American people, to do the things that will help us grow jobs and preserve against a very challenging and threatening climate.”

Background Information

S. 47 is a bipartisan package of more than 100 public lands, natural resources, and water bills. Murkowski and former ENR Ranking Member Cantwell introduced the bill in January 2019. The package was negotiated with the chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources last year, and the vast majority of bills within it have undergone extensive public review in the House, the Senate, or both.

S. 47 contains provisions sponsored by 50 Senators and cosponsored by nearly 90 Senators in the 115th Congress. Those include measures to:

  • Permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, with key reforms to strengthen its state-side program; 
  • Increase access and opportunities for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreational activities on federal lands;
  • Provide for economic development in dozens of communities through land exchanges and conveyances; and
  • Conserve lands of special importance, provided that such protections are supported by the affected state and surrounding communities.

More information on S. 47 is available here.