Media largely silent as Trump signs massive environmental conservation bill into law

March 17, 2019

Media largely silent as Trump signs massive environmental conservation bill into law Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / CCL

To hear the media tell it, President Donald Trump hates the environment so much that he probably walks around spraying aerosol cans at the ozone layer all day. That’s why it was no surprise when the media all but ignored a story that completely undermines their ludicrous environmentalist narrative:

Last week, President Donald Trump signed into law one of the most expansive wilderness protection acts in recent history.

Titled the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act in honor of the recently deceased Democratic congressman, S.47 “will give countless Americans a chance to enjoy the natural wonders of our country as we uphold our responsibility to protect the beauty and glory of God’s creation for generations to come,” Trump said.

Protecting God’s Creation

Surrounded by a bipartisan group of lawmakers who helped put the legislative package together, Trump signed the bill into law on Tuesday.

The U.S. Interior Department reported that the bill is actually a package of more than 100 smaller bills put together by more than 50 members of the House and Senate, working in conjunction with the Interior Department and acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

“This law will benefit every state and clear the deck of issues that we’ve been working to resolve for years. From providing access for sportsmen to creating new economic opportunities for local communities, this is a good, balanced measure,” said Republican Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, the committee’s ranking member Democrat who is known for siding with Republicans on a number of hot-button issues, also lauded the bill last week.

“This legislation is an important reminder that when we work in a bipartisan way, the American people come out on top,” Manchin said. “This public lands bill permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, increases access to public lands for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting and greatly expands our recreation and conservation areas.”

A Victory for America

The new law, which passed with overwhelmingly bipartisan majorities — 92-8 in the Senate, 362-63 in the House — will designate roughly 1.3 million acres as protected wilderness in states including California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Utah. Road building, drilling, logging, mining, and other developments are prohibited in these areas, which include 375,000 acres of the Mojave Desert in California.

The bill also expanded current plots of protected wilderness, including Death Valley National Park, which added nearly 36,000 of protected acres, and Joshua Tree National Park, which gained 4,500 acres.

The law also permanently reauthorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides federal grants to states and localities to create or expand national parks and wildlife refuges. The funds can also be used to finance the construction of local amenities like community parks and sports fields.

Of course, President Donald Trump will likely still catch plenty of heat from radical environmentalists who will overlook this massive bipartisan success. But to Republicans like Utah Rep. Rob Bishop, this is nothing but a victory for America.

“Today commemorates a bipartisan achievement that has been years in the making, and I’d like to thank President Trump for signing this valuable legislation into law,” Bishop said on Tuesday. “This bill is a victory for America’s sportsmen, local governments, public lands, and rightfully establishes monuments the right way.”

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Ben Marquis

Ben Marquis is a staff writer for Conservative Institute.