House Votes to Put Public Lands at Risk
Susan Whitmore, 202.540.6430
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Sweeping measure would suspend environmental laws
On June 19, 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to give operational control of all of America's public lands to one agency: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). H.R. 2578 includes the National Security and Federal Land Protection Act as well as 13 other bills, and would suspend outright 16 environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act, within 100 miles of U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada.
What's more, the CBP would have immediate access to develop roads and infrastructure on the more than 600 million acres of national parks, monuments, Indian reservations, wilderness, wildlife refuges, and other lands managed by U.S. Departments of Interior (DOI) and Agriculture (USDA), anywhere in the country. From Redwood National Park to the Statue of Liberty, this measure would threaten America's most treasured lands and waters.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security does not support this legislation, and a recent General Accounting Office report concluded that current federal laws do not impede border protection. The National Security and Federal Land Protection Act was sponsored by House National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah).
Continental United States
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