Policy Update Oct 12, 2021

NPCA position on H.R. 160, H.R. 2074, and H.R. 3222

NPCA shared the following positions ahead of a legislative markup held by the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee scheduled for October 13th, 2021.

H.R. 160 - Restoring Resilient Reefs Act of 2021: NPCA strongly supports this legislation, which will help ensure that our country’s coral reefs are supported by conservation and restoration efforts that are guided by sound science and research. Coral reefs are only found on less than one-tenth of one percent of the ocean floor, yet harbor the most biodiversity of any marine ecosystem, generate millions in revenue and support thousands of jobs, impart coastal climate resilience, and are of great cultural and social value to nearby communities. Coral reefs constitute some of the most important ecological and cultural resources at ten national park sites including Biscayne and Virgin Islands National Parks in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, respectively, and the National Park of American Samoa and Kalaupapa National Historical Park in the Pacific Ocean. These ecosystems are among the most climate-vulnerable on the planet and are threatened by overfishing, disease, water pollution, and recreational impacts. Amplifying funding that will help guide and implement improved conservation and restoration of critically important coral reef ecosystems is an urgent need that NPCA supports.

H.R. 2074 – Indian Buffalo Management Act: NPCA supports this legislation, which would expand the capacity of Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations to restore, conserve and enhance buffalo populations and habitat through the establishment of a permanent program for buffalo restoration in the Department of the Interior. Historically buffalo were found throughout North America, including lands that are now designated as national parks. This legislation is an important step in returning and sustaining buffalo on tribal lands and ensuring tribes have access to buffalo for cultural, spiritual and subsistence purposes. The bill also includes a provision which would support the transfer of buffalo from federal lands to tribal lands, which could expand opportunities for disease-free Yellowstone buffalo to be transferred to tribal lands rather than being subjected to the ship-to-slaughter program that takes place yearly.

H.R. 3222 – Alabama Black Belt National Heritage Area Act: NPCA supports this legislation, which will aid a diverse array of state and local partners in protecting and interpreting the historic, cultural, and natural resources in one of the nation’s most biologically diverse and culturally rich regions in the United States. More than ten years in the making the Black Belt National Heritage Area enjoys broad public support and is being sustained by a powerful array of stakeholders. From the Red Stick wars to the American Civil War to the battle for voting rights in Bloody Lowndes County, Alabama’s Black Belt has witnessed some of the most important events in this nation’s history. The designation of this new heritage area long overdue.