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Today, the House passed the Public Access and Lands Improvement Act (H.R. 2954), which would prevent the federal government from acquiring new land until it creates a public website showing its current holdings and which properties are suitable to be sold.

The bill extends federal grazing permits from 10 to 20 years, authorizes timber salvage operations in California forests, and allows for the conveyance of land from the federal government to counties in Florida, Alaska, and Nevada. Democrats criticized the conveyance language because it excuses the land from environmental review and does not require the federal government to be compensated. Democrats also opposed language that would overturn efforts to protect endangered species in North Carolina.

The White House opposes the bill but has not threatened a veto:

"Overall, H.R. 2954 contains a number of provisions that would undermine the responsible balance of interests and considerations in the stewardship of the Nation's lands and natural resources," it said in the SAP. "Further, provisions of the bill would disregard or reduce public engagement on a range of community interests, including natural resource protections, and preclude agencies from considering less environmentally detrimental alternatives."
The bill passed 220 to 194. Six Democrats supported it, and six Republicans opposed it. The rest was party line.

The six Democrats who supported it:

Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Jim Matheson (UT-04)
Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)

The six Republicans who opposed it:

Justin Amash (MI-03)
Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08)
Chris Gibson (NY-19)
Pete King (NY-02)
Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02)
Erik Paulsen (MN-03)

Raul Labrador (ID-01) introduced an amendment to require environmental groups that unsuccessfully challenge the government's grazing policies to pay fees and expenses of the directly affected parties. It passed 218 to 198.

Three Democrats supported it:

Jim Costa (CA-16)
Jim Matheson (UT-04)
Mike McIntyre (NC-07)

Six Republicans opposed it:

Paul Broun (GA-10)
Renee Ellmers (NC-02)
Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08)
Morgan Griffith (VA-09)
Richard Hanna (NY-22)
Tim Murphy (PA-18)

Raul Grijalva (AZ-03) introduced an amendment striking the language prohibiting BLM from acquiring new land until it creates a public website showing its current land holdings and land that is suitable to be sold off. It failed 190 to 224.

Only one Republican—Chris Gibson (NY-19)—voted for it.

Dan Maffei (NY-24)
Jim Matheson (UT-04)
Gary Peters (MI-14)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)

The bill is likely DOA in the Senate.

Originally posted to Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:00 PM PST.

Also republished by National Parks and Wildlife Refuges.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you. (5+ / 0-)

    THIS is exactly the type of topic that should be included in local news, i.e., the bill today included X, Y, Z, and each local news station should report on how their elected officials voted on it.

    Instead, we get "news" that has nothing to do with anything... along with stupid banter amongst the anchors. Ha, ha, ha.

    And then female meteorologists wearing sleeveless dresses telling us that the wind chill will be below zero degrees, and at the same time interviewing reporters in different areas of the city wearing parkas, boots, gloves, hats and showing us the 10 inches of snow that has accumulated, along with all the ice on the trees that knocked down power lines.  

    And some people still wonder why people don't vote at all or when they do vote, they vote against their own interests.  

    Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

    by gooderservice on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:57:27 PM PST

    •  Those TV lights are really hot (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      so it's not surprising that the on camera people dress as cool as they can. For two or three years I appeared frequently on an obscure cable channel and always wished I could have been sleeveless, instead of in a suit and tie.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:45:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They really look silly dressed in sleeveless (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        dresses reporting that the weather will be below zero.

        On the other hand, I see many talk shows where the hosts are complaining that the studio is too cold.

        And on the other hand, many, many people dress appropriately.

        Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

        by gooderservice on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:40:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  with this House, this bill is whats to be expected (0+ / 0-)

    of course this bill is DOa in the Senate, and the president would veto it if it passed. barring the feds from buying new lands for forests parks and monuments is stupid. even if there was a website dealing with what the feds own- which could be used to identify new areas for parks forests or monuments, or alternately, which land counts as ' surplus- tying that to tying the feds hands is asinine. as we saw during the shutdown, folks love their parks and get pissed when they cant use them. funding for it needs to increased, and frankly all of our environmental agencies should be under the same umbrella. create a department of conservation, and move the Park Service , Forest Service , Fish and Wildlife serve and the EPA into it, and revive the civilian conservation corp. 5 agencies, each getting 20 billion a year, with the first years funds dedicated towards eliminating backlogs in the first four and setting up shop nationwide in the CCC's case. after that, you greatly expand the number of monuments and forests in the system, either by upgrading existing  areas - such as the Land Between the Lakes in KY and TN- or designating new areas, Bristol Bay in AK and the North Woods in Maine come to mind.the original CCC put 3.2 million to work, a modern CCC would likely put even more to work, as it wouldnt be limited to young white men.with all the designations you would grandfather in existing uses, like hunting, snowmobiling and fishing- and require that locals be the first to be hired to set up and manage the areas. that would ennsure public support and likely ensure its passage in Congress.. this all assumes a Democratic Congress of course, this wouldnt even be brought up in a Republican Congress.

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