Rep. Gabbard Votes to Protect Public Lands & Water
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted to pass a public lands package that promotes conservation, outdoor recreation, historic preservation, and cultural resource protection in Hawai‘i and across the country on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. S. 47 would permanently authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), designate over one million acres of wilderness, and protect over 2.4 million acres of public land from future mining operations. The legislation passed by a vote of 363-62.
“We each have a responsibility to preserve and protect our precious natural resources for today, and generations to come,” said Rep. Gabbard. “Our legislation will protect our natural, cultural, and historic treasures like the Pearl Harbor National Memorial and the Honouliuli National Monument, encourage activity, honor our history, and inspire life-long stewardship of our planet.”
Background: Hawai‘i benefits in S. 47 include:
- Recognizing World War II Pacific Sites, including the Pearl Harbor National Memorial and the Honouliuli National Monument.
- Improving Water Infrastructure, by allowing eligible entities within the States of Alaska and Hawai‘i to access the WaterSMART program. WaterSMART works cooperatively with states, tribes, and local entities to modernize existing infrastructure and bring attention to local water conflicts.
- Permanently Reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund that has provided $249 million for protection projects at Hawaii Volcanoes and Haleakala National Parks, James Campbell and Hakalau National Wildlife Refuges, and Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park.
- Developing a National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System to monitor U.S. volcanoes 24/7, create a national volcano data center to coordinate information from volcano observatories, and modernize monitoring equipment with emerging technology.
- Adding coral reefs and coastal and marine areas administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationto the Public Lands Corps program.
- Funding for University of Hawai‘i Geologic Mapping Programs to further create geologic maps recording the types of rocks, soils, water, and mineral resources on and below the surface.
- Reauthorizing fish and wildlife conservation programs, including for turtles and tortoises; rhinoceroses and tigers; neotropical migratory birds; African elephants; Asian elephants; and great apes.
Rep. Gabbard has been recognized as a national champion for outdoor education and public lands, earning an A rating from the Outdoors Industry Association in 2018, a 100% rating from the National Parks Action Fund in the 114th Congress, and more.