Task force to create timeline for public lands bill

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U.S. acting secretary of the interior David Bernhardt has signed a secretarial order to launch a departmental task force to facilitate and prioritize the implementation of S. 47, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (Dingell Act).

“We are taking a concrete step to ensure the Department efficiently and fully implements the most comprehensive public lands management legislation in a decade,” said acting secretary Bernhardt in a statement. “We will continue to work to strike the proper balance for land and resources management, increase access for hunting, fishing, and recreation, and create economic prosperity while protecting and preserving America’s treasures.”

The legislation has been a top priority of the outdoor recreation industry. The Dingell Act is comprised of more than 100 individual bills that were introduced by 50 senators and several house members.

“The entire recreation industry – from boating and fishing, hunting and snowmobiling, paddling and RVing, skiing and climbing, to camping and biking – came together to support the passage of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act,” said Jessica Wahl, executive director of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, in the statement. She called it a “monumental win” for the recreation industry.

“With today’s Secretarial Order, we look forward to the timely implementation of dozens of important recreation provisions that have been decades in the making, as well as partnering with the task force to ensure the full potential of this groundbreaking legislation is unlocked,” added Wahl.

The task force will be chaired by the DOI’s associate deputy secretary with membership consisting of the Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals Management, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget, Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Areas, and the Solicitor.

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