Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2578, the Conservation and Economic Growth Act, with a bipartisan vote of 232-188. This bipartisan package removes federal red tape to responsible, local economic development and job growth. It encourages tourism and recreation, promotes responsible use of our public lands and resources, protects the environment, secures federal lands along the U.S. border and promotes the development of clean, renewable hydropower.
"This legislation will help fix local and national problems and advance important economic development projects that are tied up in government red tape and regulations. By streamlining federal bureaucracy, we can help local communities grow their economies and put people back to work," said Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04).
"The Border Patrol's inability to routinely access the entire border region leaves us not only vulnerable to the trafficking of drugs but also potential terrorists and others who wish to harm our country. With the passage of this legislation the Border Patrol will finally have the access necessary to help us achieve a truly secure border--a sovereign nation should have nothing less," said Subcommittee on National, Parks, Forests and Public Lands Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01).
Highlights of the Conservation and Economic Growth Act:
Encourages production of clean, renewable hydropower.
Enhances border security by ensuring that Border Patrol has access to federal lands along the border and is not prohibited from doing its job due to bureaucratic red tape.
Protects thousands of endangered salmon from predatory, aggressive California sea lions.
Promotes active forest management in Northern California to address declining forest health and rural economies, prevent catastrophic wildfires, and create jobs.
Encourages job creation and economic development in the City of Yerington, Nevada through the fair market sale of public lands for economic, recreational, and cultural development.
Brings transparency and accountability to the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.
Expands access and increases opportunity for public enjoyment and protection of the San Antonio Historical National Park and the Waco Mammoth National Monument.
Supports recreational shooting on public lands by providing states greater flexibility in using federal funds to establish, expand, and maintain public target ranges.
Protects hundreds of timber jobs in rural and Native communities and protects the environment by allowing the Sealaska Native Corporation to receive its remaining land conveyance under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
Restores public access to portions of the North Cascades National Park and Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Improves and streamlines the process for renewing livestock grazing permits and extends the length of permits to provide a stable economic environment.