Joe Biden

Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 803 - Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act

February 23, 2021


(House Rules)
(Rep. DeGette, D-CO, and 3 cosponsors)

The Administration calls for restoring balance to the management of our public lands and waters, creating jobs, confronting the ongoing decline of nature, and aligning the management of America's public lands and waters with our nation's climate, conservation, and clean energy goals. Because this legislation furthers those goals, the Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 803.

H.R. 803 combines eight separate measures that, among other things, permanently protect public lands and waters in Colorado, California, and Washington by designating approximately 1.5 million acres of wilderness and incorporating more than 1,000 river miles into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. It contains provisions to create and maintain additional recreational access by authorizing new trails, services, and facilities.

The legislation contains provisions that protect important public lands, including public lands in Colorado, through community-supported land use designations that limit inappropriate development and maintain recreational access. It designates Camp Hale as the Nation's first National Historic Landscape to honor World War II veterans and Colorado's military legacy. Furthermore, it provides permanent protection of more than 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon National Park from new mining claims. The Grand Canyon is a majestic national treasure, drawing Americans from across the country to visit, and numerous Tribal Nations regard it as a sacred place.

H.R. 803 puts in place protections for some of our nation's most iconic natural and cultural resources and safeguards recreational opportunities for the benefit of current and future generations, while creating jobs and investing in the recreation economy. It is also consistent with the recommendation of scientists that, to safeguard the health and productivity of the natural systems upon which we all depend, the Nation must pursue a goal of conserving at least 30 percent of U.S. lands and ocean by 2030. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress on this legislation to ensure the best durable management of these special areas.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 803 - Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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