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Press Release

House Advances Republican Bills Promoting Public Land Access, Tribal Sovereignty

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This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed three Republican bills under suspension of the rules. House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) issued the following statement in response:

"I'm pleased the few remaining legislative days of 2022 are yielding bipartisan wins for our constituents. Congressman Johnson's and Congressman Curtis's bills will amend wilderness designations in their home states, providing greater access for outdoor recreation enthusiasts and improved wildlife habitats. Senator Rounds's bill repeals archaic laws impacting tribal communities, allowing Native Americans to move forward without these outdated statues weighing down current law. I'm grateful to these members for their hard work on this legislation, and was honored to support its passage."


In total, the House passed nine Natural Resources Committee bills, including:

  • H.R. 2551, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah), which swaps roughly 300 acres in the Mount Olympus Wilderness in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest for roughly the same amount of acreage in the other sections of the forest to allow for the advancement of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, a popular mountain biking trail in Utah.
  • H.R. 6427, the Red River National Wildlife Refuge Boundary Modification Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), which modifies the boundary of the Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana, authorizing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to acquire lands from willing sellers to expand waterfowl habitat within the new boundary area. 
  • S. 789, the Repealing Existing Substandard Provisions Encouraging Conciliation with Tribes (RESPECT) Act, introduced by U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), which repeals 11 outdated and antiquated federal statutes directed at Native Americans, including laws that allowed the forced removal of Native American children from their homes to be sent to schools, punishments against "hostile" tribes and laws subjecting Native Americans to forced labor.