Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider the
Conservation and Economic Growth Act, a package of 14 Natural Resources
Committee bills that will create new American jobs, grow the economy,
protect the environment, and promote development of renewable
“This grouping of bills will advance important local projects and
policies that will have a direct impact on job creation and economic
growth in communities throughout the country. The majority of
these bills have received bipartisan support and encourage tourism,
recreation, and responsible use of our public lands and resources,”
said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings.
All 14 bills included in this package have moved through the House
under regular order. They have all had subcommittee legislative
hearings, been marked up by the full House Natural Resources Committee
and been favorably reported to the full House for floor consideration.
One of the 14 bills is H.R. 4094, introduced by U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C.
H.R. 4094, would overturn the final off-road vehicle plan, end a
court-agreed-to consent decree, and return management at the Cape
Hatteras National Seashore to the 2007 Interim Protected Species
The bill would “authorize pedestrian and motorized vehicular access” at
the seashore and may also be called the “Preserving Public Access to
Cape Hatteras Beaches Act.” If the bill passes, the interim strategy
would remain in place until the Park Service devises another long-term
plan that is less restrictive.
The Conservation and Economic Growth Act includes:
Title I: Lower Merced River (HR 2578 - Denham)
new jobs and helps spur economic growth in California’s San Joaquin
Valley by increasing the opportunity to construct expanded water
storage. This increased water storage has the potential to
generate an additional 10,000 megawatt hours of clean renewable
electricity, create 840 jobs, increase recreational activity in the
area, and increase water supplies for farmers.
Title II: Bonneville Unit Clean Hydropower Facilitation Act (HR 460 - Chaffetz)
the development of 50 megawatts of clean, renewable hydropower on the
Diamond Fork System of the Central Utah Project. It would provide
enough electricity to power 50,000 homes and, according to the
Congressional Budget Office, would generate $4 million in federal
revenue within the first 10 years alone.
Title III: Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement Finalization and Jobs Protection Act (HR 1408 - Young, AK)
protect 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 by selecting native lands from within a designated pool
of land in Southeast Alaska.
Title IV: San Antonio Missions National Historic Park Boundary Expansion Act (HR 3100 - Canseco)
the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park boundary to include
an additional 151 acres by donation that are currently owned or being
managed by the National Park Service that are necessary to protect park
Title V: Waco Mammoth National Monument Establishment Act of 2012(HR 1545 - Flores)
and establishes the Waco Mammoth site as the Waco Mammoth National
Monument. By partnering with a local, non-profit foundation, this
measure would increase tourism and allow the site to receive national
Title VI: North Cascade National Park Access (HR 2352 - Hastings, WA)
recreational access and tourism by allowing the National Park Service
to relocate and rebuild a flood-damaged road in the North Cascades
Title VII: Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act (HR 3069 - Hastings, WA)
endangered Columbia River salmon from predation by aggressive
California sea lions. Pacific Northwest residents spend nearly $1
billion annually to protect the salmon, yet non-lethal methods have
proven inadequate in removing California sea lions that gorge on
Title VIII: Reauthorization of Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library Group Forest Recovery Act (HR 3685 - Herger)
a bipartisan project to implement forest management activities on up to
70,000 acres per year in Northern California to address declining
forest health and rural economies. Would create over 2,000 jobs,
increase economic activity in rural areas and increase Forest Reserve
Title IX: Yerington Land Conveyance and Sustainable Development Act (HR 4039 - Amodei)
the fair market sale of approximately 10,200 acres of public lands to
the City of Yerington for economic, recreational and cultural
development. This would help create local jobs and support
Title X: Preserving Access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act (HR 4094 - Jones)
jobs and small businesses by restoring and ensuring reasonable
pedestrian and motorized access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Recreational Area in North Carolina.
Title XI: Grazing Improvement Act of 2012 (HR 4234 - Labrador)
and streamlines the process for renewing livestock grazing permits and
extends the length of permits to provide a stable economic
Title XII: Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (HR 3065 - Shuler)
recreational shooting by providing states greater flexibility to use
their Pittman-Robertson funds to establish, expand and maintain public
Title XIII: Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act of 2011(HR 258 - Wittman)
clean-up of the Chesapeake Bay through greater transparency and
accountability on taxpayer money spent on restoration.
Title XIV: National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act (HR 1505 – Bishop, UT)
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.
The day next week that the House will consider the Economic Growth Act
has not yet been specified. Island Free Press will continue to
update the story as we receive information, and you can also check the
House website, www.house.gov. Floor proceedings can be viewed
live or on-demand on video.