STATEMENT: CAP’s Mary Ellen Kustin Praises Public Lands Bill Becoming Law

Washington, D.C. — Today, President Donald Trump is expected to sign into law the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, which protects nearly 2.4 million acres of public lands and water. In response, Mary Ellen Kustin, director of policy for Public Lands at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

This bill is a triumph for everyone who likes fresh air and clean water or enjoys America’s great outdoors. It is a result of Congress’ bipartisan efforts during the past few years to protect our public lands for future generations. From permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund to designating more than 1 million acres of land with the highest protection status of wilderness, the American people have a lot to be proud of here.

As President Trump signs this bill into law, however, it’s worth remembering that he and his administration have stripped protections from far more acres of public lands than this bill protects. Since taking office, Trump has removed protections from 13.5 million acres of land through executive actions. This bill happened in spite of President Trump’s anti-conservation crusade, and neither he nor his administration deserves a shred of credit for this congressional accomplishment.

Thankfully, a majority from both parties stepped up to stem the tide of anti-public lands actions coming from the White House. Congress should continue protecting and conserving land and water through full funding.

For more information on this topic or to talk with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at or 202.478.6327.