Policy Update Oct 7, 2015

Position on S. 414 and S. 1971

NPCA submitted the following positions on legislation considered by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Public Lands, Forests and Mining Subcommittee on October 8, 2015.

S. 414: California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act of 2015 – NPCA supports this legislation as it represents an expansive and thoughtful legislative approach to managing important federal lands across the California Desert. It would appropriately designate specific lands to protect their world-class natural and cultural resources; acknowledge increased off-road vehicle use and provide suitable locations for the activity; protect critical water resources in a region where surface and sub-surface water are rare and therefore crucial to natural and human communities; enhance the California Desert’s tourism economy by expanding national parks and creating national monuments; avoid conflicts between new designations and existing uses and businesses; enhance existing conservation actions by protecting key habitat; and connect protected lands through conservation.

This legislation has broad support among desert groups, residents and communities. The California Desert is one of the country’s most scenic, protected, and ecologically important regions which has resulted in growing visitation. This legislation represents another major step forward to continue improving the ecological health, recreation opportunities and the regional economy in the California Desert and its communities.

S. 1971: California Coastal National Monument Expansion Act – NPCA supports this legislation that would expand the California Coastal National Monument by designating approximately 6,200 acres of existing U.S. Department of the Interior lands as individual units of the monument. National monument status would ensure that each area is managed according to the unique needs of the region, and would enhance the recreational and visitor experience for millions of Americans that visit California’s magnificent coastline each year.

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