Heinrich Conservation Bills To Receive Key Committee Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Tomorrow, Thursday, September 22, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will consider several conservation bills U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced, including the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Act, the Advancing Conservation and Education Act, and the San Juan County Settlements Implementation Act. Members of the committee will question and receive testimony from the witnesses regarding the legislation. The hearing will be streamed live online. Details about the three bills offered by Senator Heinrich can be found below.

The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Act, which Senator Heinrich introduced with Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), would complete the community proposal for the region included in the Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks National Monument. The national monument has been a tremendous success for Doña Ana County in just two years since its designation, but only Congress can complete the original vision for this area, which includes improving operational flexibility for Customs and Border Patrol, protecting the important missions at Fort Bliss from encroachment by incompatible development, and designating wilderness in its backcountry.

The Advancing Conservation and Education Act (ACE Act), which Senator Heinrich introduced with Senator Jeff Flake (R-A.Z.), better facilitates land exchanges between Western state land offices and federal public land agencies. The ACE Act specifically focuses on state trust land inholdings within the boundaries of federal conservation areas like parks, monuments, and wilderness areas.

The San Juan County Settlements Implementation Act, which Senator Heinrich introduced with Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), would finally resolve several decades-long public land and resources issues in northwestern New Mexico. The bill would bring to a close decades of litigation over mineral leases, allow the Navajo Nation to receive its final settlement lands pursuant to a settlement dating back to 1974, and permanently protect the unique geologic, paleontological, and cultural resources in the Ah-shi-sle-pah Wilderness Study Area.

WHO:  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich
WHAT:  U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Hearing
WHEN:  Thursday, September 22, 2016; the hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. MT  
WHERE: 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building and Via Live Stream

The hearing will be webcast live on the committee’s website, and an archived video will be available shortly after the hearing is complete. Witness testimony will be available on the website at the start of the hearing.