House of Representatives Passes Key Land and River Conservation Measure

Legislation would safeguard vital resources, natural wonders, and local economies

House of Representatives Passes Key Land and River Conservation Measure
Matt Sayles
Wildflowers bloom in California’s Carrizo Plain, one of several areas that would be protected under legislation passed by the House on Feb. 12.
Matt Sayles

The U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 12 passed the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act, moving critical public land and river conservation measures a significant step closer to becoming law.

Pew has been working with communities in California and Washington to protect treasured American landscapes such as the grasslands, forests, and rivers along California’s Central Coast; majestic old-growth forests and wild rivers in northwestern California; critical watersheds and open space in Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains; and ancient forests and free-flowing rivers on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. The act’s provisions are supported by Native American Tribes, business owners, local elected officials, community leaders, veterans, scientists, conservationists, outdoor enthusiasts, hunters and anglers, and other stakeholders who want to protect access to these natural areas, safeguard clean water sources, preserve recreation opportunities, and boost local economies.

The act is a package of six bills: the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act; Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act; San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act; and Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act as well as measures to protect wild landscapes in Colorado and expand California’s Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.


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