Overall, H.R. 2578 contains a number of provisions that would undermine the responsible balance of interests and considerations in the stewardship of the Nation's lands and natural resources. Further, various provisions would disregard and shortchange public input on a range of community interests, including natural resource protections, and preclude agencies from considering less environmentally
detrimental alternatives. Most significantly, H.R. 2578 would:
(1) undermine recent months of productive talks on a revised proposal to satisfy Alaska Native land claims and consider the natural resource and other values of timberland in Alaska's Tongass National Forest;
(2) reverse course on the science-based National Park Service plan, developed after a lengthy public engagement process, that provides an appropriate balance of off-road vehicle access and protection of sensitive seashore areas in North Carolina;
(3) weaken important National Environmental Policy Act and public involvement
provisions for actions affecting resources such as grazing on lands managed by the Department of the Interior;
(4) thwart successful efforts by agencies to collaborate on border security while protecting our natural and cultural resources on Federal lands along U.S. borders by waiving thirty-seven environmental and administrative laws; and
(5) provide additional access to public lands for target practice.
All of these provisions present a false choice between natural resources protection and the economy or national security.
Specific lands affected include, but are not limited to:
North Cascades National Park, Big Bend National Park, Allegheny National Forest, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and Glacier National Park
Specific Federal Laws that Could Be Dismissed Via Bills within HR 2578 include, but are not limited to:
the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Antiquities Act of 1906
In addiiton to these problems, HR 2578 directly infringes upon the rights of indigenous peoples whose land falls within 100 miles of a land-border of the United States.