Amata Welcomes Signing of Resources Law with Aid to Territories

March 13, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Wednesday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed President Trump’s signing into law the largest land management act of the past 10 years, the bipartisan John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act, S. 47.

This new law contains several measures that are helpful to American Samoa, along with the Territories in general, and many of these measures complete legislative efforts that began with bills introduced in the 115th Congress, including those cosponsored at the time by Congresswoman Amata. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski accumulated content from a total of over 120 bills, including dozens from Republicans and Democrats, in this major legislation, including many initiated in the House Committee on Natural Resources.

The Act not only reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, it reapportions the funding formula under to consider the Territories equally with the States for funding purposes, a key improvement that will help the Territories for years to come.

Another measure initiates the National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System Act, introduced by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), to step up monitoring of volcano activity, and study the possibility of observatories in American Samoa, Guam, and CNMI, and provide better warnings for the Pacific Ring of Fire that can lead to tsunamis.

 

Amata with Governors at Eisenhower Executive Building
Congresswoman Amata at the recent IGIA meeting with Interior Secretary Bernhardt and various Territorial leaders.

 

“I’m pleased to see a major bipartisan achievement signed into law so early in the 116th Congress,” said Aumua Amata. “I support the strong conservation and youth education efforts in this Act, which will lead to cooperative strategic planning between the federal government and the Territories to prevent invasive species and other preservation steps. The Act also has better Pacific volcano monitoring, and improves another funding formula for parity with the States, which remains an ongoing bipartisan priority for the insular Representatives in Congress.”

The Act has numerous sections to enhance outdoor recreational opportunities; provide educational programs, including the “Every Kid Outdoors” project, which promotes fourth-grade visits to federal lands and waters; support National Parks; strengthen various coast and wildlife preservation efforts; federally protect World War II and other historic sites, including in Hawai’i; and create new wilderness areas.

 

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