The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, S.22, is getting a second chance in both chambers after a narrow defeat in the House last week.
In a last-minute announcement, S.22, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, was considered on the floor of the House last Wednesday. Unfortunately, the House failed to pass S. 22 under suspension of the rules, a maneuver that shields legislation from amendments and requires a two-thirds majority for passage. The final vote was 282-144 - just 2 votes short of the votes needed for final passage.
The language of the bill has now been included in a measure that is under consideration by the Senate, H.R. 146, the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act. Last night, the Senate invoked cloture to end debate and the legislation could be considered as early as tomorrow. If the bill passes the Senate, it could head to the House late next week.
The language in the legislation would make the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) a permanent entity. It also designates more than 2 million acres of wilderness in nine states, and establishes three new national park units, a new national monument, three new national conservation areas, more than 1,000 miles of national wild and scenic rivers and four new national trails. It would enlarge the boundaries of more than a dozen existing national park units and establish 10 new national heritage areas. It also authorizes numerous land exchanges and conveyances to help local Western communities, address water resource and supply issues, and includes provisions to improve land management.