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Pieces of Haaland’s First Bill Become Law as Part of Public Lands Package

WASHINGTON — Pieces of Congresswoman Haaland’s (NM-01) first bill became law Tuesday as the President signed the Public Lands Package.

The bi-partisan package contains provisions to create 273,000 acres of wilderness in New Mexico that were also part of the ANTIQUITIES Act, which Haaland introduced alongside U.S. Senator Tom Udall (NM). The historic package also permanently authorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a vital conservation program that continues to invest millions of dollars in protecting public lands, supporting parks and playgrounds in New Mexico communities.

“Getting parts of my first bill across the finish line is a huge win for our state. In New Mexico, we value our natural heritage and resources, and we believe in protecting the places we hold dear for future generations to enjoy – the Public Lands Package makes all of those things possible. It’s also a prime example of what our Democratic majority can get done because we’re willing to work across the aisle and push things through,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland. 

This package will continue investments in New Mexico’s $9.9 billion outdoor recreation economy, and the Congressional Budget Office estimates the Public Lands Package will save taxpayers $9 million.

Specifically, the Public Lands Package:

  • Designates recreation and conservation areas;
  • Authorizes land exchanges;
  • Withdraws certain lands from mineral extraction;
  • Revises the boundaries of several national parks;
  • Establishes new wildland fire management and volcano early warning programs; and
  • Reauthorizes the Land and Water, Conservation Fund.

Supporting the Public Lands Package is part of Haaland’s commitment to protecting air, land, and water. This follows the introduction of her first bill H.R. 1050, the ANTIQUITIES Act of 2019 which has a goal of fighting climate change by protecting land from extraction, honoring sacred sites, and ensuring public lands are here for future generations.

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