Natural Resources

Committee on Natural Resources

Rob Bishop

Bishop Statement on Hurricane Maria’s Impact on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

2017/09/20

House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement on Hurricane Maria’s impact on the territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands:

"The residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have been devastated by Hurricane Maria, a storm that took human lives and left millions without power, water and stable infrastructure. This is the most unfortunate circumstances that both of these U.S. territories could possibly face given the recent devastation of Hurricane Irma. I, along with all of our committee members, pray for all those impacted.   

“I have spoken with Resident Commissioner Gonzalez on the extent of the damage, as well as plans for relief, and will be working with Delegate Plaskett on a similar plan of action. Together, we will advocate for the full support of the federal government. Both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are in dire need of our assistance and we will do everything in our power to ensure that all necessary resources are made available.

“As Americans, both in the mainland and throughout all of our territories, we are all in this together." 

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Preserving an American Tradition: Maintaining Access and Increasing Opportunities on our Public Lands

2017/09/19


OP-ED: Preserving an American Tradition: Maintaining Access and Increasing Opportunities on our Public Lands
Congressman Rob Bishop
Chairman, House Committee on Natural Resources

Sportsmen are the heart and soul of conservation policy in the United States. In the spirit of the first Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot, our nation values the “wise use of the Earth and its resources for the lasting good of men” through responsible resource management, conservation and recreation.

However, to ensure conservation and economic growth can be created by our federal lands, it is important to have access to outdoor activities on America’s public lands, and to have secure Second and Tenth Amendment rights. That is why Congress should pass the “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act.” Many of our nation’s sportsmen enjoy access to our public lands, which also makes possible many jobs in the outdoor recreation industry sector. Maintaining access and increasing opportunities on our public lands will help ensure our natural resources are conserved in perpetuity, and helps sustain good, family supporting jobs for millions of Americans.

American sportsmen annually fund our nation’s legacy of conservation through a “user-pays, public-benefits” system, which provides millions of dollars toward the preservation of our lands and natural resources. In 2015, hunting and recreational shooting activities alone generated $823 million to support the conservation and rehabilitation of public land, and provide more than 80 percent of the annual funding for state fish and game agencies. America needs more hunters and recreational shooters to ensure the sustainability of this system.

In addition to supporting conservation, our nation’s sportsmen create and sustain outdoor recreation jobs, ensuring economic stability and income for millions of American families. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, sportsmen annually generate $65.3 billion in federal tax revenues, a combined $59.2 billion in state and local taxes and 7.6 million American jobs. These jobs are in a diverse assortment of fields ranging from game management to manufacturing that support hard-working American families across the country.

Unfortunately, federal agencies like the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management continue to restrict access to public lands for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting. For many Americans, our public lands are where they have practiced these activities for decades, and remain some of the only locations where they can recreate safely and affordably. Reliable public access to these areas must remain a priority. The SHARE Act safeguards access to our public lands, and features provisions designed to ensure that federal agencies actively work to sustain and expand these opportunities for Americans.

 

Outdoor sporting activities are deeply engrained in the fabric of America’s culture and heritage. Values instilled by these activities are passed down generation to generation, and these values ensure that our nation’s resources are conserved, economies grow and families thrive. The SHARE Act preserves and enhances these virtues.

With its passage, a much-needed step is advanced to safeguard these opportunities. Without it, conservation of these lands will diminish and American outdoor traditions – and the jobs and economic opportunities they support – will remain threatened.

Click here to view article in the Hill

 
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Bishop Statement on Dan Love Employment Status

2017/09/18

Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement on the employment status of Senior Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement Manager Dan Love:

“The previous administration turned a blind eye to corruption and promoted a culture of mismanagement at the Department of the Interior. I applaud Interior for taking a strong stand and reasserting the basic principle that there are consequences for federal employees who blatantly disregard the law and steamroll elected officials and public trust. Love’s exit is welcome.”

Background

The Department of the Interior (DOI) Office of Inspector General released a report on August 24, 2017 titled “Investigative Report of Misconduct by a Senior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Law Enforcement Manager.”

The report looked into multiple allegations including the mishandling of evidence from a criminal case, which Love eventually gave as gifts to several people. DOI OIG substantiated most of the allegations including that Love instructed his employee to remove four moqui marbles from the evidence room and that he violated Federal security and records management policy in addition to various regulations related to the conduct of federal employees.

Chairman Bishop sent a letter to Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall requesting an unredacted copy of the report, which was received by the Committee on August 24, 2017. Click here to read the full letter. 

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Chairman Bishop Statement on Secretary Zinke's Sportsmen Directive

2017/09/15

Today, Chairman Rob Bishop issued the following statement in reaction to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke's secretarial order to promote outdoor recreation on federal lands. 

“Americans depend on reliable and affordable access to public lands to participate in outdoor sporting and recreational activities. Unfortunately, these lands are not being managed to facilitate consistent, open access. Today’s Secretarial Order to increase these opportunities strengthens the foundation of our country’s hunting and fishing heritage and helps ensure that sportsmen and women continue to enjoy access to our federal lands and waterways.”



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Bishop Statement on House Appropriations Package

2017/09/14

Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement on House passage of H.R. 3354, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act of 2018:

This package builds on the administration’s efforts to reduce bureaucracy and promote regulatory certainty across the Department of the Interior and other federal land management agencies.”

H.R. 3354 includes policies and funding to:

  • Authorize wildfire suppression at the 10-year average for both the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS)
  • Increase USFS’s National Forest System Hazardous Fuels account to mitigate wildfires hazards and lessen the likelihood of catastrophic fires
  • Provide $465 million for Payments in Lieu of Taxes
  • Accelerates the reclamation of abandoned mine lands to boost environmental cleanup and economic growth
  • Remove recovered gray wolves from the endangered species list
  • Prohibit the use of funds to change the status of sage-grouse as a threatened or endangered species
  • Reduce funding for federal land acquisition to prioritize state and local recreation opportunities and battlefield preservation
  • Prohibit USFS or the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from issuing new closures of public lands to hunting or recreational shooting
  • Restrict funding from being used to implement BLM’s unlawful “Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation” otherwise known as the venting and flaring rule
  • Prohibit the regulation of lead content of ammunition and tackle
  • Prohibit funds for implementing the Obama Administration’s Social Cost of Carbon 
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Bishop Introduces Tribal Recognition Act of 2017

2017/09/14

On Tuesday, Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced H.R. 3744, the “Tribal Recognition Act of 2017.”  The bill restores the constitutional framework to tribal recognition authorities vested with Congress under Article I. Chairman Bishop issued the following statement:

“The constitutional authority to recognize tribal status is vested with Congress, not the executive. Congress bears the responsibility of fulfilling this solemn role, but instead has ceded this authority to an unaccountable bureaucracy. As a result, the current process is fraught with delays, lacks public transparency and is susceptible to political manipulation by unelected officials. Congress has an obligation to reassert this authority and create a process that is transparent and accountable,. That’s what this bill delivers.

“The process of determining tribal status must certainly rely on the executive for technical and historical expertise, and this bill sets forth those structures and functions. Debate in Congress will be informed by this work, but the ultimate recognition authority will be with Congress.”

Background:

Chairman Bishop introduced similar legislation, H.R. 3764, in the 114th Congress. The Committee held two legislative hearings on the bill in addition to an oversight hearing on the Obama administration’s Part 83 Revisions to regulations that currently govern the recognition process within the Department of the Interior.   Read More

Committee Passes Sportsmen's Legislation

2017/09/13

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 3668, the “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2017” or “SHARE Act.” This bipartisan bill expands opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting; increases safety and hearing protection for sportsmen and women; and protects Second Amendment rights. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement:   

“The SHARE Act removes bureaucratic roadblocks that inhibit Americans’ access to outdoor sporting activities on federal lands and reigns in federal encroachment on Second Amendment rights. Members also adopted important amendments that improve upon this package, including provisions to address cumbersome permitting processes for guides and outfitters, which will result in more jobs and more Americans recreating outdoors. I look forward to advancing this package through the House and working with our Senate colleagues on a final bill that can be signed into law.”  

Click here for more information on the SHARE Act.

Click here to view more information on today’s markup. 

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House Passes Bipartisan Bill to Preserve Little Rock, Arkansas Historic Site

2017/09/12

Today, the House passed H.R. 2611, the “Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Boundary Modification Act.” Introduced by Rep. French Hill (R-AR), the bill modifies the boundary of the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Arkansas to include seven residences in the immediate proximity of the high school.

“This legislation preserves iconic sites that served as a backdrop during a pivotal moment in our nation’s civil rights movement. I commend Rep. Hill for his commitment to ensuring that these landmarks are preserved so that future generations can reflect upon the people, places and events that encapsulate this historic moment in our history,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said.

“Just ahead of the historic 60th anniversary, we’re commemorating the Little Rock Nine and their brave role in the fight for equality. As we celebrate, this legislation that passed the House today ensures the proper historical inclusion of the seven homes located across South Park Street from Little Rock Central High School,Rep. Hill stated.Together with the school, they will now stand as living monuments to the civil rights movement in Arkansas and the United States. Preserving the streetscape as close as it was in 1957 serves as a historic reminder for all modern-day history travelers retracing the steps of the civil rights movement.  

“I thank my colleague, civil rights pioneer, and courageous leader, John Lewis, for his cosponsorship. I also thank our Majority Leader, Chairman Bishop, and the Natural Resources Committee for their expeditious treatment of this important measure. I’m grateful to my friend and colleague, Senator Cotton, for his leadership in initiating and shepherding this effort and the companion bill S.1202 in the Senate. I look forward to President Trump signing this bill, and again recognizing that we have to embrace our past and learn from our history,” Rep. Hill added.

Background:

In 1957, nine black students enrolled at the formerly all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, testing the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education that declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional.

H.R. 2611 amends Public Law 105-356 to modify the boundary of the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Arkansas to include seven residences on South Park Street in Little Rock, which consist of approximately 1.47 acres. Additionally, the bill authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to enter into separate cooperative agreements with the owners of such residences to mark, interpret, improve, restore, and provide technical assistance for the preservation and interpretation of their properties.

All the property owners and several community members have expressed their support for this proposal, including the Central High Neighborhood, Inc. and Preserve Arkansas.

Click here for additional information on H.R. 2611.

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Panel Reviews Legislation to Increase Access to Outdoor Sporting Opportunities on Federal Lands

2017/09/12

Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a legislative hearing on H.R. 3668, the “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2017” or “SHARE Act.” The bill increases opportunities for hunters, anglers and shooters, eliminates red tape impeding outdoor sporting activities, and protects Second Amendment Rights.

“Outdoor sporting activities, including hunting, fishing and recreational shooting, are deeply engrained in the fabric of America’s culture and heritage. Values of personal responsibility, resource management and conservation and outdoor recreation instilled by these activities are passed down from generation to generation and play a significant role in the lives of millions of Americans,” Subcommittee Chairman Tom McClintock (R-CA) said.

Outdoor sporting activities are a major economic driver in the United States. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, sportsmen and women annually generate 7.6 million American jobs, $65.3 billion in federal tax revenues and a combined $59.2 billion in state and local taxes.

Despite the significant economic benefits of outdoor sporting activities, unnecessary bureaucratic roadblocks inhibit access to these activities on federal lands.

“Among the most commonly cited reasons by Americans who have given up on these recreational pursuits on public lands are access issues,” McClintock argued.

The “SHARE Act” includes multiple provisions that improve access and opportunities for outdoor recreation and sporting activities on federal lands, including requiring the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to be “open until closed” for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting. 

“As a nation, we must encourage all Americans, and in particular young people and urban residents, to increase their participation in wildlife-oriented recreation, including hunting, shooting and fishing,” Anna Seidman, Director of Government Affairs for the Safari Club International Seidman, said. “[The ‘SHARE Act’] removes statutory and regulatory obstacles that inhibit federal agencies from providing access and opportunities [for sportsmen and women].”

The “SHARE Act” also increases safety and hearing protection for sportsmen and women by removing onerous requirements associated with purchasing hearing protection equipment.

No reason exists why one should be forced to damage one’s hearing to hunt, target shoot, or exercise one’s second Amendment rights,” Stephen Halbrook, an attorney who specializes in Second Amendment issues, stated.

The bill prevents firearm mufflers from being regulated under the 1934 National Firearms Act, which requires a $200 transfer tax fee. It also ends the requirement that law-abiding gun owners go through a secondary, outmoded federal background check and continues to treat mufflers as firearms subject to extensive regulations under the Gun Control Act.  

[The ‘SHARE Act’] would protect law enforcement interests while at the same time allowing law-abiding gun owners to protect their health better and to reduce noise pollution,” Halbrook added.

Christopher Sharon, CEO of Hope for the Warriors, added that firearm mufflers are vital for veterans’ enjoyment of the outdoors, pointing to the prevalence of hearing loss for those who have trained and served in our military.

 

Preserving what remains of our heroes’ hearing, while still giving them the opportunities to live a full life is our goal,” Sharon stated.

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Washington Times: Wildfires in the West Revive Push to Thin Federal Forests

2017/09/08

NOTE: “We can’t do anything about the weather, but we can do things about forest management that make sense so we can diminish forest fires for the future,” Mr. Perdue said at a recent press conference with Mr. Zinke at the Lolo Creek firefighting camp near Florence, Montana.

In their corner are House Republicans — and a few Democrats — behind the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, aimed at dialing back the environmental litigation that has bogged down thinning projects for nearly two decades."

“A lack of active management has left our forests overly dense and stocked with dead and dying trees that feed catastrophic wildfires,” said chairman Rob Bishop. “As management decreases, forest health deteriorates and fires grow in size, density and cost.”

By: Valerie Richardson

Westerners are sick of it: the smoke, the evacuations, the moon turned burnt orange by soot, all driven by catastrophic wildfires by now so predictable that they practically have their own season.

“The summers here are about a month and a half because the rest of the time is spent fighting forest fires,” said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who was born and raised in Montana.

Year in and year out, Mr. Zinke and other Republicans have sought to reduce the fire danger by thinning the overgrown federal forests, meeting with resistance every time from environmentalists, who insist the problem isn’t too many trees, it’s global warming.

But 2017 may be different. As treacherous late-season wildfires burn millions of acres from California to Montana, the level of frustration among elected officials and their constituents may have finally combine to break the political logjam.

“How many more thousands of acres in Montana and all through the West must burn before we act?” asked Sen. Steve Daines, Montana Republican, in a Wednesday speech on the Senate floor.

Mr. Zinke and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue have teamed to figure out ways to clear the dense thicket of litigation and regulation that has for years stalled projects aimed at cutting back the federal forests, many plagued with diseased and dying trees.

“We can’t do anything about the weather, but we can do things about forest management that make sense so we can diminish forest fires for the future,” Mr. Perdue said at a recent press conference with Mr. Zinke at the Lolo Creek firefighting camp near Florence, Montana.

In their corner are House Republicans — and a few Democrats — behind the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, aimed at dialing back the environmental litigation that has bogged down thinning projects for nearly two decades.

The legislation won approval in June from the House Natural Resources Committee in June. Similar bills passed the House in previous years before dying in the Senate.

“A lack of active management has left our forests overly dense and stocked with dead and dying trees that feed catastrophic wildfires,” said chairman Rob Bishop. “As management decreases, forest health deteriorates and fires grow in size, density and cost.”

The reignited debate comes as the Forest Service, which falls under the Agriculture Department, has watched its firefighting expenses soar, jumping from 15 to 55 percent of the budget and forcing cutbacks in areas such as facility maintenance and recreation.

Democrats like Washington Gov. Jay Inslee are frustrated, too, only for different reasons. Earlier this week he called out President Trump for failing to take global warming more seriously.

“Our forests have turned into time bombs,” Mr. Inslee told MyNorthwest. “We have been devastated by climate change. And I gotta tell ya, we ought to have the president, who’s denied climate change, come out here and smell this smoke and see this ash.”

Keith Hammer, chair of the Swan View Coalition, an environmental group based in Kalispell, Montana, called it “irresponsible to lay blame on environmentalists during a record-setting summer of heat, drought, wind and climate change.”

“The debate over logging and lawsuits is literally a smoke screen to divert the conversation away from climate change and warming, which is why places like Montana are now having big droughts and long fire seasons every couple of years instead of once every decade or longer,” Mr. Hammer said in an email.

Mr. Perdue argued that privately managed lands have fared far better in terms of fire damage than federal lands during the same period.

“Irrespective of the cause or the effect, let’s do what we can,” said Mr. Perdue. “That’s why we’re here. We can’t affect what the weather is or anything else, but we can affect how we manage these forests to reduce the impact of forest fire.”

Nearly 8 million acres have burned so far in 2017, making this a worse-than-average wildfire year despite the wet winter and spring. Montana currently leading Western states with 21 active wildfires as of Thursday, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Other states reporting a rash of wildfires include Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California, where firefighters have now contained the La Tuna fire, the biggest blaze in Los Angeles history in terms of acreage.

California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a Sept. 1 executive order extending an emergency proclamation allowing any licensed professionals to “remove dead trees that threaten life, property, and the environment.”

One reason? Climate change. The Democrat argued that the state’s 102 million dead trees have created their own climate crisis in that the die-off “worsens wildfire risk across large regions of the State” and “such wildfires will release thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollutants.”

Republicans have also pointed to the impact of wildfires on the atmosphere. After smoke from the Chetco Bar Fire forced the Ashland Shakespeare Festival to cancel performances last month due to smoke and haze, Rep. Greg Walden declared, “Enough is enough.”

The Oregon Republican called for a federal review on the impact of wildfires on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, as well as the threat to habitat, water quality and property destruction.

He predicted the House would soon pass the Resilient Federal Forests Act and urged the Senate to “stop blocking our bipartisan legislation,” saying he was convinced President Trump would sign it “if we can only get it to his desk.”

At least four states have declared states of emergency as a result of this year’s wildfires, while the Oregon fires alone have cost state and federal agencies $100 million to date, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.

“Either we are going to manage the forests,” Mr. Daines said, “or the forests are going to manage us.”


Click HERE to view the article online

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Chairman Bishop Floor Speech on Little Rock 9 Bill

2017-09-15 13:10:28


9.13.17. FC. 11:00 AM.

2017-09-13 16:36:37


9.12.17. FC. 4:00 PM.

2017-09-12 21:15:09


9.12.17. FL. 10:00 AM

2017-09-12 16:01:39


Cheney (2). 9.6.17. EMR. 10:00 AM.

2017-09-07 17:40:54


9.6.17. EMR. 10:00 AM.

2017-09-06 15:51:10


8 24 17 Antiquities Call

2017-08-24 19:44:48


Copy of 7.27.17. EMR. 10:00 AM. Cheney

2017-07-27 17:54:36


National Monuments vs. National Parks

2017-07-27 15:12:19


7.27.17. EMR. 10:00 AM.

2017-07-27 15:53:40


Contact Information

1324 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2761
Fax 202-225-5929
naturalresources.house.gov


Membership

Rob Bishop

UTAH's 1st DISTRICT

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