Trump signs John Dingell conservation law

    President Donald J. Trump, joined by Rep. Debbie Dingell, D- Mich., signs S.47: The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in the Oval Office of the White House. | Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

    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.

    Debbie Dingell

    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.

    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.


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