Skip to Content

Press Releases

House Republicans Are Protecting America's Public Lands And Waters

  • westerman
Today, House Republicans will bring to the floor a series of bills that will protect Americans' access to public lands and waters, help unleash American energy dominance, and restore power back to the communities, tribes, and local leaders who have stewarded our resources for generations.
Since his first day in office, Joe Biden and his Administration have worked overtime to restrict access to America's public lands and waters through a series of rogue policy decisions that jeopardize our national security in an attempt to advance Biden's failed Far Left anti-American energy agenda. The bills that House Republicans are bringing to the floor this week will help put an end to Biden's out of touch policies when it comes to America's public lands and waters. 
  • H.R. 6285 the Alaska’s Right to Produce Act of 2023 would reverse Biden’s Department of the Interior’s decision to prohibit oil and gas development on 13 million acres within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and reinstate the lawfully awarded leases that Biden’s Department of the Interior canceled within the non-wilderness Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • H.R. 2925 the Mining Regulatory Clarity Act of 2024 would expand the rights of hardrock mining claimants on federal land. Under the bill, claimants would have the right to use and occupy public land without having first discovered a valuable mineral deposit so long as they make timely payments of the required fees to stake and maintain their claim. 
  • H.R. 3195 the Superior National Forest Restoration Act would rescind Public Land Order 7917, which withdraws 225,504 acres of the Superior National Forest for 20 years and require the reissuance of every mineral lease in the Superior National Forest, preference right lease, and prospecting permits that have been canceled since January 31, 2021.
  • H.R. 615 the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act of 2023 would prohibit the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from banning the use of lead ammunition or tackle on federal land or water that is under their jurisdiction and made available for hunting or fishing activities. In addition, the Secretaries may not issue regulations relating to the level of lead in ammunition or tackle to be used on Federal land or water. 
  • H.R. 3397 the Western Economic Security Today Act would direct the Bureau of Land Management to withdraw the proposed rule, “Conservation and Landscape Health,” as published in the Federal Register and would also prohibit the Bureau of Land Management from implementing any substantially similar rule.
  • H.R. 764 the Trust the Science Act would require the Department of the Interior to reissue the final rule entitled “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) From the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife” returning management of gray wolf populations to each of the lower 48 states within their borders.  
FACTS ABOUT THE MINING REGULATORY CLARITY ACT OF 2024 (Courtesy of House Committee on Natural Resources Republicans):
  • The Mining Regulatory Clarity Act of 2024 would correct a harmful court decision from May 2022, commonly called the “Rosemont decision,” which reinterprets key facets of the Mining Law of 1872 and threatens the entire system by which hardrock minerals are mined in the U.S.
  • The Rosemont decision ignores decades of precedent and regulations by limiting the U.S.vForest Service’s ability to approve mining support facilities necessary for mining operations on federal lands.
  • This bipartisan bill would provide the certainty needed for domestic mining projects to move forward by codifying longstanding regulatory practices and legal interpretation.
FACTS ABOUT THE TRUST THE SCIENCE ACT (Courtesy of House Committee on Natural Resources Republicans):
  • The gray wolf is a recovered species that should be delisted and returned to state management across the lower 48 states.
  • The Obama, Trump, and Biden Administrations have all agreed that the gray wolf has recovered and should be delisted, but activist judges have prevented the species from coming off the endangered species list.
  • Recent scientific analysis by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) shows the gray wolf population is healthy and can sustain itself from a variety of threats. 
FACTS ABOUT THE PROTECTING ACCESS FOR HUNTERS AND ANGLERS ACT OF 2023 (Courtesy of House Committee on Natural Resources Republicans):
  • Hunters and anglers contribute over a billion dollars annually in conservation funding via excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment, such as ammunition and fishing tackle.
  • Lead ammunition and fishing tackle are the most cost-effective options on the market. The Biden Administration is taking steps to restrict the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle in specific national wildlife refuges, which increase costs for sportsmen and women utilizing public lands.
  • Bans on lead ammunition and fishing tackle, without refuge-specific scientific justifications, limit access to hunters and anglers and puts conservation dollars at risk. 
FACTS ABOUT THE ALASKA’S RIGHT TO PRODUCE ACT OF 2023 (Courtesy of House Committee on Natural Resources Republicans):
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) required DOI to hold two lease sales in the 1002 Area of ANWR, the first by December 2021 and the second by December 2024.
  • The Trump Administration held the first lease sale, but the Biden Administration canceled the leases, threatening a critical revenue stream for Alaskan Native communities.
  • The Biden Administration just promulgated a final rulemaking for the NPR-A that would lock up over half of the petroleum reserve for oil and gas exploration and production.
  • These actions were panned by the entire Alaska delegation, along with local governments, Alaska Native Corporations, federally recognized tribes, and tribal nonprofits across the North Slope of Alaska. 
FACTS ABOUT THE SUPERIOR NATIONAL FOREST RESTORATION ACT (Courtesy of House Committee on Natural Resources Republicans):
  • In January 2022, the Biden Administration canceled the two decades-old mineral leases held by Twin Metals Minnesota in the Superior National Forest. It simultaneously began a mineral withdrawal of over 225,000 acres of land in the same area, effectively barring new extraction of minerals, including copper, nickel, and cobalt, for a period of 20 years.
  • HR. 3195 would rescind Public Land Order 7917 (the order that directs the withdrawal), restore mineral rights to prospective developers in the area, and require the prompt review of any Mine Plans of Operations for potential future development. 
FACTS ABOUT THE WESTERN ECONOMIC SECURITY TODAY ACT (Courtesy of House Committee on Natural Resources Republicans):
  • Stops the Biden Administration’s Land Grab and Protects Multiple Use: The Rule creates a new, convoluted leasing system for “restoration and mitigation” that locks up lands traditionally used for grazing, timber harvesting, outdoor recreation, and energy and mineral production. 
  • Defends the Western Way of Life: The Rule puts the activities and land used to feed and fuel our country in danger in furtherance of the Biden Administration’s radical 30x30 agenda. If responsible use and development of public lands are prohibited, then family and small businesses, multi-generation ranches, local communities, and schools will suffer from lack of economic development, access, and tax revenue. 
  • Stops an Overly Burdensome and Restrictive Regulation: The Rule is duplicative, unnecessary, and burdensome. Conservation leases are unnecessary as conservation is already being practiced on public lands. “Restoration and mitigation leasing” and unhindered authority to designate Areas of Critical Environmental Concern are a Biden Administration ploy to restrict access to public lands. 
  • Reasserts Congressional Authority and Empowers Local Voices: Bureau of Land Management didn’t coordinate with local stakeholders and refused requests to hold more listening sessions so the public could share their concerns about the Rule. The Rule also usurps Congress’s authority by rewriting statutorily mandated terms and policies with no legal basis.
TOPLINE MESSAGING POINTS ABOUT LANDS WEEK (Courtesy of House Committee on Natural Resources Republicans):
  • As the Biden Administration continues to restrict access to our public lands and waters and threaten the rural way of life, House Republicans are standing up for local communities across America by advancing policies that conserve our resources, expand multiple uses, and promote good stewardship of federal lands and waters for generations to come.
  • With China, Russia, and other adversaries aggressively expanding their malign influence across the globe, it’s time to say “yes in my backyard” to the safe, reliable, and environmentally-friendly development of America’s abundant natural resources.
  • While Biden’s bureaucrats enact rogue policy decisions with the stroke of a pen, House Republicans understand that states know best. We’re returning power back to the communities, tribes, and local leaders who have stewarded our resources for generations.
  • There’s no time to waste. Just two weeks ago, Biden’s Bureau of Land Management enacted a final rule that would cut off access for hundreds of western communities that depend on multiple uses of their public lands. One of the bills House Republicans are advancing this week (the WEST Act) would reverse that devastating rule and ensure no Administration could implement it in the future.
  • Through state license fees, stamps, permits and federal excise taxes, hunters and anglers have directly contributed tens of billions of dollars to conservation efforts nationwide. House Republicans are preventing any Administration from shutting off federal lands and waters access to America’s sportsmen and women by requiring the use of prohibitively expensive ammunition and fishing tackle.
  • Given the skyrocketing global demand for minerals and other natural resources, House Republicans are advancing sound solutions that ensure the access and certainty necessary for American industries to produce the energy and mineral resources we need here at home.