President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act.
The bill honors former U.S. Rep. John Dingell, who died last month at age 92. He was the longest-serving member of Congress in history and had a long legacy in conservation issues. U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), Dingell’s widow who succeeded him in 2015, attended the signing in the Oval Office.
The bill “promotes conservation, recreation, historic preservation and cultural resource protection in Michigan and across the country,” as the Advance previously reported. It passed Congress last week.
The legislation includes designations for 1.3 million acres of new wilderness, protections for a million acres of public lands from mining, and measures estimated to save taxpayers $9 million. The MotorCities National Heritage Area will see an authorization increase of $2 million.
The act contains several efforts to preserve African-American history and also expands public lands. It designates more than 1 million acres of wilderness on federal land in California, Oregon, Utah and New Mexico.
The package includes a permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a program to conserve public land and improve outdoor recreation.
“John would have been so proud to see Democrats and Republicans come together to sign into law a landmark public lands bill to conserve and protect America’s wild plants, fish, animals, and their habitats. Smiles and tears all at once,” Debbie Dingell wrote on Facebook.