Annual appropriations for fiscal year 2022 and public land hearings were on the docket for lawmakers this month. The House Appropriations Committee started marking up its version of FY22 funding levels, including spending for Department of the Interior programs impacting BHA’s mission. Senate and House committees held hearings to consider conservation and public land legislation.
The MAPLand Act
Earlier this month, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands held a hearing on public land legislation, including the Modernizing Access to Our Public Land Act (MAPLand Act, H.R. 3113). A partner organization, the Mule Deer Foundation, represented the hunt and fish community’s perspective with MDF President and CEO Joel Pedersen testifying.
Currently, more than 16.4 million acres of public lands are landlocked - surrounded by private lands - and inaccessible across the U.S. The MAPLand Act would require public land management agencies to collect data on accessible public lands so that this information can be made available to hunters, anglers and other outdoor recreationists. This new wealth of information would allow hunters and anglers to discover new opportunities on our public lands and waters all while boosting the nation’s annual $842.2 billion outdoor recreation economy.
Our partners at the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership have led the reintroduction, and we thank them for it. Join our collaborative efforts and encourage your lawmakers to support the MAPLand Act.
The Arctic Refuge
The Biden administration recently suspended oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. BHA and our partners consistently urged - and continue to urge - decision-makers to utilize the best available science and avoid pursuing development in sensitive wildlife habitat across Alaska’s Arctic regions.
Read our full statement with quotes from BHA President/CEO Land Tawney and BHA's Alaska chapter Vice Chair Barry Whitehill.
The Navigable Waters Protection Rule
On June 10, the Biden administration announced its intent to revise federal protections for U.S. wetlands and waterways and overturn an existing rule that reduces safeguards for more than half of America’s wetlands and close to 20 percent of small streams.
BHA supports the administration’s decision to begin a new rulemaking process that will draw on protections in place prior to a 2015 rule established by the Obama administration. Read our press release here.
Laura Daniel-Davis Nomination
The Biden administration nominated Laura Daniel-Davis to serve as the Department of the Interior assistant secretary for lands and minerals. BHA supports her nomination. Daniel-Davis’ resume includes her accomplishments as a policy professional serving two previous presidential administrations and her critical knowledge in public lands management policy.
Read our full statement here.