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Harris, Feinstein Applaud House Passage of Public Lands Bill and Introduce Senate Companion Package

February 12, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Wednesday introduced the Protecting Unique and Beautiful Landscapes by Investing in California (PUBLIC) Lands Act, a package of three previously introduced bills that would increase protections and access for over 1 million acres of California lands, including nearly 600,000 acres of new wilderness and over 100,000 acres of new national monument. The bill introduction comes after the House of Representatives passed a large western public lands package that included the same increased protections for California lands.

“Every American should have the ability to explore and enjoy the outdoors, especially throughout California’s beautiful natural scenery,” said Harris. “But this administration has threatened and chipped away at protections for our public lands, undermining our right to clear water and clean air. Rather than focusing on leasing our public lands to Big Oil, we should be focusing on protecting our future. I applaud the House of Representatives for taking decisive action to bolster protections for California’s public lands, it is now time for the Senate to act.”

“Few places can match California’s beauty, in part thanks to the success we’ve had protecting our rich natural resources. Our bill would build on that strong environmental legacy by safeguarding key portions of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Central Coast and Northern California’s forests and rivers. Investing in public lands preservation not only benefits us now but will also continue to pay dividends for generations to come,” said Feinstein.

Throughout her Senate career, Harris has been a champion for the nation’s public lands. Last year, she worked with Reps. Jared Huffman (CA-02), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), and Judy Chu (CA-27) to introduce a package of bills to establish new public lands protections throughout Northwest California, California’s Central Coast, and the San Gabriel Mountain in Southern California. The PUBLIC Lands Act is a single bill that contains the three previously introduced bills.  

Harris has also led the fight for increasing access to the outdoors for underserved communities in our cities by introducing the Outdoors for All Act with Representative Barragan (CA-44).

In 2018, her bill to expand the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, CA was signed into law. In 2019, her legislation to establish a national monument at the site of the St. Francis Dam disaster and to preserve and improve historic buildings and sites at Historically Black College and Universities was signed into law as part of the Natural Resources Management Act.

Text of the bill can be found here.

A summary of the bill can be found here.



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