Policy Update Nov 19, 2019

Position on H.R. 1708, H.R. 2546 & H.R. 2642

NPCA submitted the following positions to members of the House Committee on Natural Resources ahead of a markup scheduled for November 20, 2019.

H.R. 1708 – Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act: From the Santa Susana Mountains to the heart of the city at El Pueblo de Los Angeles, the Rim of the Valley is an area rich in historic and cultural sites and critical wildlife corridors, waterways and landscapes worthy of national recognition and protection by the National Park Service. With more than 17 million people, the Los Angeles Metropolitan area is the second most populous region of the country; yet has less open space per capita than all other large cities on the west coast. NPCA supports the Rim of the Valley legislation that represents an opportunity to better protect and manage some of the region’s last wild lands, open spaces—including habitat for threatened species ranging from the mountain lion to the red-legged frog—and historic sites that will allow the National Park Service to tell the story of Los Angeles’s rich and nationally-significant history. The expanded presence of the National Park Service will also facilitate new partnerships with schools, local governments and community-based organizations to improve outreach and Park Service-led interpretive programs, better connect youth and families to the outdoors, and build a new generation of national park enthusiasts. Additionally, the adjustment respects local land use authorities, forbids the use of eminent domain and has no impact on rights of private property owners.

H.R. 2546 – Colorado Wilderness Act of 2019: NPCA supports this legislation which advances a citizen-led vision of permanently protecting 740,000 acres of public land in Colorado as designated wilderness, including proposed designations surrounding Mesa Verde National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area. While renowned for its widespread public land and its highly valued outdoor recreation, many of Colorado’s remaining wildland areas, including the air, water and wildlife within, face serious and growing threats from oil and gas development and a massive population growth. Permanent protection for these vulnerable areas has co-benefits for our national parks, local economies and the future of our public lands.

H.R. 2642 – Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act: NPCA supports this locally-driven legislation to designate wilderness and wild and scenic rivers in Washington state. This bill protects the ecosystems and recreational opportunities around Olympic National Park, including trail systems, habitats and vistas. The river protections will create essential connections for salmon between the mountains and the sea, especially along the Elwha River which is a world-class river restoration project within the park’s largest watershed.