The bipartisan legislation includes Klobuchar’s provisions to reroute and extend the North Country Scenic Trail, permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and resolve a land management issue in Voyageurs National Park
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) announced that several of her key environmental priorities were signed into law as part of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act. The bipartisan legislation—the largest public lands package in a decade—includes Klobuchar’s provisions to reroute and extend the North Country Scenic Trail, permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and resolve a land management issue in Voyageurs National Park.
“In Minnesota, we deeply value the outdoors—our lakes, rivers, and wetlands, our forests and prairies, our wildlife habitats, and abundant farmland. It’s critical that we protect the natural resources we enjoy because it’s our responsibility to pass on this Minnesota way of life to future generations,” Klobuchar said. “Signing the bipartisan John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act into law supports conservation efforts across the country and promotes smart policies that allow our outdoor recreation, fishing, and hunting industries to thrive.”
Klobuchar successfully included the following provisions in the bipartisan lands package agreement:
- North Country National Scenic Trail Adjustment: As one of the six designated National Scenic Trails, the North Country National Scenic Trail provides access to unique outdoor experiences and helps support the $373 billion outdoor recreational industry. This legislation would make much needed updates to the trail’s route and extend it to connect with the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. These modifications are based on National Park Service (NPS) recommendations and will respond to public demand for access to outdoor recreation.
- Reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund: The Land and Water Conservation Fund was established by Congress in 1964 to provide safeguards to our natural resources. The landmark law provides funds for federal land acquisition and federal assistance to states for outdoor recreation, acquisition of lands and waters, and development of recreation facilities through a dedicated fund. The fund accumulates a majority of its revenues from oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf. The LWCF has helped fund thousands of projects and land acquisitions in Minnesota, including the “Plan B” approach to the School Trust Lands in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).
- Voyageurs National Park Adjustment: Voyageurs is a rugged and beautiful 218,000 acre National Park located along the Canadian border. The Park was created by Congress in 1975 to preserve the landscape and honor the legacy of the region. French travelers or “voyageurs”—the namesake of the Park—explored the region more than 250 years ago. The Park is loved by boaters, fishermen, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the country and around the world. In fact, last year alone, nearly 200,000 visitors made the trek to the relatively remote area. This legislation would formally transfer parcels of land from the Bureau of Land Management to the National Park Service that were not transferred at the establishment of the Park.
Klobuchar has long-championed conservation programs and the expansion of public lands. Klobuchar pushed for passage of the last major lands package, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, which constituted the largest expansion of our nation’s wilderness in 15 years. Through this legislation, over two million more acres of national Wilderness Areas and more than 1,000 miles of national Wild and Scenic Rivers were protected. Klobuchar has also worked to expand service-learning opportunities that help restore America’s natural, recreational, and scenic resources.