Policy Update Nov 16, 2021

NPCA Position on H.R. 2793, H.R. 3326, and H.R. 4706

NPCA sent the following letter ahead of a markup held by the House Natural Resources Committee scheduled for November 17, 2021.

H.R. 2793 - Highlands Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2021: The bill authorizes a critical program that leverages federal and state funding to conserve areas in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. The program will support efforts to allow the ecosystem and wildlife to adapt to changing temperatures and increased rainstorms while increasing access to open green space for the 23 million people that live in the greater NYC metropolitan area. NPCA supports the bill which has proven its effectiveness to protect the Appalachian National Scenic Trail corridor and advances important climate goals.

H.R. 3326 – Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act of 2021: NPCA urges that the exemption of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan included in PLREDA be made permanent. The DRECP reflects a decade of painstaking negotiation and compromise among federal, state, and local agencies, along with tribes, industry, NGOs, and the public. The result provides ample opportunities for renewable energy development while protecting the California Desert’s unique conservation values. Rather than offering a timeline for unilateral changes to the DRECP in PLREDA, Congress should direct DOI to adopt DRECP as a model for PLREDA implementation due to the former’s carefully crafted, landscape-level balance of renewable energy development with conservation and recreation values.

H.R. 4706 – Blackwell School National Historic Site Act: NPCA supports this legislation, which would designate the Blackwell School site in Marfa, Texas as a National Historic Site. This site commemorates the pride and resiliency of the Mexican American heritage of the region, as well as uncovers the painful past of educational segregation in our country. The Blackwell School site represents the social constructs of American society along the southern US border during each decade of its operation, and despite the ubiquity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries of schools like Blackwell, it is one of only a few remaining structures. This facility remains in good condition,