Protecting Public Lands and Rivers

On February 26, 2021, the House of Representatives passed the Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act. It now awaits action by the Senate. This act designates several new wilderness areas, protects portions of rivers as components of the National Wild and Scenic River System (NWSRS), expands some existing National Monuments and National Recreation Areas, and permanently bans new mining claims around the Grand Canyon, while helping to protect the clean water resources critical to the livelihoods of local tribal communities.

These designations will further the goal of protecting 30% of the country’s lands and waters by 2030 (see below) and will also help further the Administration’s focus on advancing environmental justice by improving access to clean water, clean air, and healthy outdoor recreation, while supporting local economies and historically underserved communities.

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