Yesterday, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed several lands bills including H.R. 3400, the bipartisan, bicameral Recreation Not Red-Tape Act or RNR Act (Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.) and H.R. 788, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.) by voice vote.
H.R. 3400 promotes increased access to outdoor recreation opportunities on federal lands and boosts rural economies across the country.
“The outdoor industry supports more than 7.6 million American jobs and makes other significant contributions toward the goal of healthy communities and healthy economies across the United States. On behalf of our member businesses, we thank you and the committee for holding this important hearing on the Recreation Not Red-Tape (RNR) Act.” - Jessica Wahl, Government Affairs Manager, Outdoor Industry Association.
“On behalf of America Outdoor Association, I am writing to express my support for H.R. 3400, the Recreation Not Red Tape Act. We very much appreciate your support for increasing access to outdoor recreation on federally managed lands and especially appreciate your inclusion of much of the GO Act in H.R. 3400.” - David Brown, Vice President for Government Affairs, America Outdoor Association.
“Veterans Corps offer a transition to civilian life and in-demand job skills. Serving in a Corps can provide a continued sense of mission and purpose and also be a way for veterans and their families to engage more with the outdoors. This is why we encourage inclusion in HR 3400 of another way to expand the opportunity for veterans to serve, gain in-demand skills, and address high-priority projects through the bipartisan 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act (HR 2987). This legislation was introduced by a veteran and recently passed the committee.” - Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President & CEO, The Corps Network.
“On behalf of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Restore America’s Parks campaign, I urge your support of key provisions of the Recreation Not Red-Tape Act (H.R. 3400), legislation being heard before the Subcommittee on Federal Lands this week. The Restore America’s Parks program seeks to conserve the natural and cultural assets of our national parks by providing common sense, long-term solutions to the $11. 3 billion deferred maintenance backlog facing the National Park Service (NPS).” - Marcia August, Director, Restore America’s Parks, The Pew Charitable Trusts.
H.R. 788 amends the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to give states more flexibility to create, maintain and expand shooting ranges on public lands.
“This is an important step forward for all sportsmen, target shooters
“I am writing in support of the bipartisan Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (the “TPMTSA”), S. 593 in the Senate and H.R. 788 in the House. Enactment of TPMTSA will help facilitate increased opportunities for responsible recreation something our organization strives to achieve. TPMTSA would provide states with increased flexibility to use Pittman-Robertson dollars for the development, expansion, and maintenance of public shooting ranges. With millions of new shooters entering the sport, more than 50% of ranges experienced visitation increases in 2016. TPMTSA would accommodate new shooters and help states and local managers meet growing demand for their facilities.” - Casey Snider, Interim CEO, Tread Lightly.
“Since the 1930s, hunters and recreational target shooters have been the driving force of conservation funding in the United States through the Pittman-Robertson Act. The Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports applauds the passage of H.R. 788, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act. By allowing state fish and wildlife agencies greater flexibility to use portions of their Pittman-Robertson funds to build and maintain recreational shooting ranges, access to recreational shooting opportunities will increase, which will continue to ensure critical funding for wildlife conservation remains strong for years to come.” - Cyrus Baird, Programs Director, Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports
“Enactment of the Training Support Act would also ensure that wildlife conservation funding, through the Pittman-Robertson Act, will continue for generations to come. The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Conservation Trust fund, responsible for $11 billion in direct wildlife conservation and management initiatives since 1937, derives its funding through excise taxes levied on
“We are writing to urge passage of the bipartisan Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (TPMTSA), S. 593 in the Senate and H.R. 788 in the House in 2018. Recently introduced by bipartisan cosponsors in the House and Senate, the bill has garnered wide support, including each of the four co-chairs of the Outdoor Recreation Caucus and the leaders of the Congressional Sportsmen Caucus.” - Jessica Wahl, Government Affairs Manager, Outdoor Industry Association.Read More
Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed several lands bills including H.R. 788, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act. Introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), the bipartisan bill amends the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to give states more flexibility to create, maintain and expand shooting ranges on public lands.
“This bill gives states much-needed flexibility to create safe, quality shooting facilities on public lands for hunters. It will also enable recreational shooters to further their education and training activities and ensure sportsmen and women continue enjoying a quality target shooting range experience. This bill is supported by a broad coalition of stakeholders and is a win-win for hunters, sportsmen and wildlife restoration,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) stated.
The Committee also passed H.R. 1026 (Rep. Richard Nolan, D-Minn.), H.R. 1037 (Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass), H.R. 2991 (Rep. Llyod Smucker, R-Pa.), H.R. 4069 (Rep. Don Young, R-Ala.), and H.R. 4645 (Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont.).
“The passage of these bills showcases the importance of improving and stewarding our federal lands, while also respecting and enhancing local management preferences. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance these bills through the House and to the President’s desk for signature into law,” Chairman Bishop said.
H.R. 1026, the North Country National Scenic Trail Route Adjustment Act, revises the authorized route of the North Country National Scenic Trail in northeastern Minnesota and extends the trail into Vermont to connect with the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
H.R. 1037, authorizes the National Emergency Medical Services Memorial Foundation to establish a commemorative work in the District of Columbia and its environs.
H.R. 2991, the Susquehanna National Heritage Area Act, establishes the Susquehanna National Heritage Area in the State of Pennsylvania.
H.R. 4069 amends the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to clarify the treatment of authentic Alaska Native articles of handicraft containing nonedible migratory bird parts.
H.R. 4645, the East Rosebud Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, amends the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate certain segments of East Rosebud Creek in Carbon County, Montana, as components of the Wild and Scenic River System.
Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), praised the passage of H.R. 3400, the Recreation Not Red-Tape Act or RNR Act, a bipartisan, bicameral bill that promotes increased access to outdoor recreation opportunities on federal lands and boosts rural economies across the country.
“Today is a great bipartisan win for outdoor recreation. We want to make it easier for all Americans, and the people in my home state of Utah, to enjoy recreation on federal lands and this bipartisan legislation does just that. I’d like to thank Sen. Ron Wyden and my colleagues on the committee for recognizing outdoor recreation’s important role in our economy and for coming together to support reforms that will make valuable recreation improvements a reality,” Chairman Bishop stated.
“Our bipartisan RNR Act removes roadblocks that make it harder to grow rural economies and more difficult for Americans to get outdoors and enjoy all our public lands have to offer in Oregon and nationwide,” Wyden said. “I’m thrilled Chairman Bishop was able to move our bill forward. We’ll be working overtime to pass the Recreation Not Red-Tape Act into law to speed up rural job creation and help recreation businesses
Today, the House passed H.R. 3607 (Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif.), H.R. 4609 (Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo.), H.R. 443 (Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.), H.R. 146 (Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn.), H.R. 3961 (Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla.), and S. 167 (Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.). Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) issued the following statement:
“The passage of these bills in the House further communicates that Congress is serious about improving the management and access to public lands. I look forward to working with our colleagues in the Senate to ensure commonsense federal lands legislation reaches President Trump’s desk for signature.”
H.R. 3607 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to establish fees for medical services provided in units of the National Park System (NPS).
H.R. 4609, the West Fork Fire Station Act of 2017, allows the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to convey 3.61 acres of undeveloped USFS land in Delores County, Colorado to Delores County to be used for a fire station.
H.R. 443, the James K. Polk Presidential Home Study Act, authorizes the NPS to conduct a feasibility study of the James K. Polk home in Columbia, Tennessee for inclusion in the NPS.
H.R. 146, the Eastern Band Cherokee Historic Lands Reacquisition Act, places approximately 96 acres of Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) land and easements in Monroe County, Tennessee, on the shores of Little Tennessee River/Tellico Reservoir into trust for the benefit of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
H.R. 3961, the Kissimmee River Wild and Scenic River Study Act of 2018, designates segments of the Kissimmee River in Central Florida for study for potential inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
S. 167, the National Memorial to Fallen Educators Act, designates an existing memorial to fallen educators located in the National Teachers Hall of Fame in Emporia, Kansas as the “National Memorial to Fallen Educators.”
Today, Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) issued the following statement in reaction to the Department of the Interior’s park user fees announcement:
“While any change to user fees should be approved by Congress, this proposal moves us towards more of a ‘user pays’ system which is positive. I look forward to working with Secretary Zinke to bolster our national parks and public lands.”
Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) issued the following statement today on the introduction of the 2018 farm bill, which includes forest management provisions that mirror H.R. 2936, the “Resilient Federal Forests Act,” which passed the Committee and the House with bipartisan support:
“It’s great to see that folks realize the job isn’t done on forest management reform. Millions of acres have been needlessly lost each year because Congress wouldn’t get serious about preventing catastrophic wildfires. With this farm bill, we have an opportunity to take meaningful steps forward in addressing the problems behind severe, uncontrollable wildfires. We look forward to working with the House Agriculture Committee and other Members to ensure that we will not end up having the Schumer fires of 2018 on our hands.”
Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 3144 (Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash), H.R. 3392 (Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La.), H.R. 3997 (Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Pa.), H.R. 4257 (Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah), and H.R. 5005 (Rep. Al Lawson, Jr., D-Fla.).
H.R. 3144 provides certainty over the reliable management of the Federal Columbia River Power System and prevents the wasting of $40 million in lost power generation. Supporters of the bipartisan bill include the Northwest River Partners, Public Power Council, Stevens County Commissioners, and more.
“Hydropower helped build the Northwest, and still today it offers us clean, renewable, reliable, and affordable energy to help power our homes, businesses, and communities. I’m proud to see this bipartisan legislation pass the House Natural Resources Committee today and look forward to it coming before the full House in the coming weeks. My goal is to ensure that dams and fish can co-exist, and this Biological Opinion provides a collaborative approach so we can continue to improve technology and fish recovery efforts, while supporting the clean energy produced on our dams. I’m proud to lead this effort along with the support of organizations and people all across Eastern Washington,” Rep. McMorris Rodgers stated.
“This is a bipartisan bill with broad local support from citizens in the Pacific Northwest. It removes unnecessary federal barriers to water and power resources while protecting the environment, and I thank Rep. McMorris Rodgers and her colleagues from the region for their ongoing work to move this bill forward,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) said.
H.R. 4257, the bipartisan “Advancing Conservation and Education Act,” maximizes land management efficiencies, promotes land conservation and generates education funding for Western communities. Supporters of the bill include the Western States Land Commissioners Association, the Wilderness Society and the State of Utah’s School & Institutional Trust Lands Administration among other groups.
“The ACE Act is a win for Utah, a win for school kids, and a win for conservation. Exchanging state lands trapped inside of federally protected areas will allow states to generate more revenue and help support rural economies. I’m happy that the Natural Resources Committee is moving this bipartisan piece of legislation forward. The ACE Act proves we can come together to solve complex public land issues,” Rep. Stewart said.
“The Ace Act is a step in the right direction for land management policy in the West. This bill will boost revenue for public education, strengthen land conservation tools
H.R. 3392, the “Lake Bistineau Land Title Stability Act,” resolves current uncertainty surrounding the title to certain lands along Lake Bistineau, Louisiana.
H.R. 3997, the “Free Veterans from Fees Act,” waives the application fee for any special-use permit for veterans’ demonstrations or special events at war memorials on federal land.
H.R. 5005 directs the Interior Secretary to conduct a special resource study of James Weldon Johnson’s birthplace in Jacksonville, Florida to determine the national significance of the site and suitability for inclusion in the National Park System.
Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) issued the following statement today following the Cabinet Secretaries’ Memorandum of Understanding with President Trump on the goal of improving and streamlining environmental reviews for major infrastructure projects:
“Projects designed to improve our country’s infrastructure are failing to move forward due to a tangled web of oppressive and duplicative environmental regulations. I support any effort to streamline outdated laws and bring commonsense back to our nation’s infrastructure.”
Today, Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) sent a letter to the Financial Oversight and Management Board (Oversight Board) in Puerto Rico to ensure the intent of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management
“Although no revised plans have been certified by the Oversight Board, the draft plans released by Governor Rosselló last week continue to circumvent the stated purpose of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management
“Federal funding has and will continue to help in the recovery process, but structural reforms and the elimination of redundancy must also occur…
“My Committee will be monitoring your actions closely; and as we near the two-year anniversary of the passage of PROMESA, an oversight hearing on the status of achieving PROMESA’s goals will likely be merited.”
Click here to read the full letter.
A Lesson in Bipartisanship: Starting Small on Infrastructure to Go Big
Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT)
The Washington Times
March 21, 2018
Warmer months are just around the corner, presenting an opportune time to visit a national park — and millions of Americans will do just that. But most visitors will be unaware that the parks they’re visiting are buckling under a multibillion-dollar maintenance backlog, threatening the vitality of these national treasures — and hard-earned vacation dollars.
To address this deteriorating infrastructure, a bipartisan consensus has emerged in the House, Senate and Trump administration. Swift action is essential before Americans’ access to and enjoyment of our national parks is further damaged. With a unified call for a robust, stable and politically viable funding mechanism to address the challenge, the political will is there.
Earlier this month, Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, through the administration’s FY 2019 budget request to Congress, proposed reforms to aggressively tackle the $11.6 billion maintenance backlog crisis facing our national parks. The proposal includes the creation of a fund utilizing revenues from responsible development of renewable and conventional sources of energy on federal lands onshore and offshore. Shortly after, bipartisan members advanced the proposal with legislation, H.R. 5210 in the House and S. 2509 in the Senate. This week, the House Committee on Natural Resources reviewed this bill, along with a similar bipartisan proposal, H.R. 2584, legislation designed to achieve similar goals.
For decades, revenues derived from energy development on federal lands have been used to invest in land and resource conservation and promote greater public access to recreational activities through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. What’s been missing, however, is a similar commitment to maintain and conserve these lands and facilities for future generations to enjoy.
Secretary Zinke has been known to say our public lands and national parks are currently “loved to death.” There is a deep appreciation for our public lands, but these popular destination areas simply aren’t being maintained as they should. Real commitment to conservation means prioritizing the care we afford to our existing parks, not just calling to create more of them.
As we work to improve stewardship practices across federal land and resource management agencies, we must also pursue “all-of-the-above” solutions to address infrastructure and maintenance challenges dealing with water and power development, especially in western states. The president’s proposal includes bold ideas to invest in rural communities and spur water and power development, with the goal of moving certain responsibilities back to the states where they ultimately belong. Broader federal permitting reforms must also be pursued; this is essential to any successful infrastructure package.
The House, Senate and Trump administration are poised to create a stable and reliable fund to help reduce the crippling maintenance backlog at the National Park Service and potentially other federal land management agencies. The House Committee on Natural Resources will do its part to set the stage for a viable solution.
The emerging bipartisan approach to solving our park deferred-maintenance problem can serve as a model for the rest of Congress, including action on a broader infrastructure package and more.
The snow is melting. The birds will soon be chirping. Let’s get to work.Rep. Rob Bishop, Utah Republican, is Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources. Read More