Policy Update Jul 12, 2023

Position on S. 1254, S. 1622 & S. 1634

NPCA submitted the following positions to members of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining ahead of a hearing scheduled for July 12, 2023.

S.1254 - 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.

S.1622 - End Speculative Oil and Gas Leasing Act of 2023: NPCA supports this legislation which helps prevent federal lands with low potential for oil and gas development from being included in lease sales. When these lands are under contract for leasing, they cannot be managed for better uses including conservation and recreation. Additionally, this legislation includes protections for national parks and other special places before nearby parcels are included in variance leases.

S.1634 - Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act: NPCA supports this legislation to protect nearly 400,000 acres of public lands in Colorado, including providing a long overdue boundary designation for the Curecanti National Recreation Area (NRA), which would officially authorize establishment of the area as part of the National Park System. Although the NRA was created in 1965, it was never afforded enabling legislation by Congress, and therefore its boundary was never designated. This administrative deficiency has limited the National Park Service’s ability to efficiently manage the area with long-lasting protections. The CORE Act fixes this by providing an appropriate boundary through transfer and exchange of land with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. The proposed boundary adjustment is the result of a years-long extensive public planning process and will allow NPS to work with landowners to enhance the long-term conservation of natural, recreational and scenic resources within the park unit while creating a comprehensive management plan.