Policy Update Sep 24, 2019

Position on H.R. 925, H.R. 1487, H.R. 1492, H.R. 3115 & H.R. 3541

NPCA submitted the following positions to members of the House Natural Resources Committee ahead of a markup scheduled for September 25, 2019.

H.R. 1487 – Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Boundary Adjustment Study Act: NPCA supports this legislation to examine the beaches, wetlands, recreational areas and other natural and cultural resources along Los Angeles’ coastal zone for increased protection and possible inclusion in the National Park System. This zone provides critical habitat for a myriad of native species and significant outdoor recreational opportunities for the nation’s second largest metropolitan area. This study will also examine opportunities for coordination and collaboration with local land management agencies, jurisdictions and communities to preserve the ecological, educational and economic value of these resources.

H.R. 1492 – Yucca House National Monument Boundary Revision Act: NPCA supports this legislation to revise the boundary of Yucca House National Monument to include 160 additional acres that have been offered as a donation. As an unexcavated, ancestral Puebloan site, Yucca House is a regionally and nationally significant archaeological and cultural resource that was entrusted to the American public as a national monument in 1919. Unfortunately, for many years, the public’s access to the monument has been restricted and impractical because the monument shares a driveway with a working ranch. This has caused confusion and management challenges for the National Park Service. H.R. 1492 would help alleviate these challenges; a neighboring landowner has agreed to donate a 160-acre parcel to the National Park Service in order to adjust its boundary, providing space for a new trailhead and a parking lot away from the ranch.

Additionally, NPCA supports H.R. 925, H.R. 3115 and H.R. 3541 because the health of our national parks depends on the health of the waters that surround and flow through them. These bills help advance important ecosystem restoration priorities that contribute to healthier living shorelines and wetland protections, which are especially vulnerable due to sea level rise and climate change, as acknowledged by H.R. 3115, the Living Shorelines Act of 2019. The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (H.R. 925) and the Coastal Zone Management Act (extended via H.R. 3541) are important vehicles that protect and restore national parks, and we appreciate efforts to extend and strengthen them.