Tlaib Environmental Justice Bill Advanced by House Natural Resources Committee
WASHINGTON—In a legislative hearing today, the House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands took up the Environmental Justice in Recreation Permitting Act (H.R. 3687), a bill introduced by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) that would require the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to complete an interagency report on the effects of special recreation permits on environmental justice communities, and for other purposes.
The Environmental Justice in Recreation Permitting Act seeks to increase public lands access for environmental justice communities, a top priority of House Natural Resources Chairman Raul Grijlava (AZ-03). Specifically, the bill requires the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to complete an interagency study and report on:
- the use of special recreation permits—used for group activities, recreation, outfitting, guiding - by recreation service providers serving environmental justice (EJ) communities;
- national and local policies that facilitate public land access for recreation service providers serving EJ communities;
- barriers to public land access for recreation service providers serving EJ communities and;
- recommendations for agency or Congressional action to increase public land recreation access for EJ communities.
During today’s hearing, Congresswoman Tlaib highlighted the work of Outdoor Afro, a national nonprofit promoting Black environmental leadership and recreation, and the National Wildlife Federation’s Detroit Leadership and Environmental Education Program (D-LEEP), which uses an outdoor education curriculum to expose Detroit students to environmental experiences.
“Facilitating connections between environmental justice communities and public lands is just the beginning of winning true environmental justice for my residents in 13th District Strong and beyond,” Congresswoman Tlaib said. “They deserve the ability to experience and enjoy the clean air and lands of our country's great national parks and forests, but also to have their children grow up knowing what fresh air actually feels like in their own back yards. I’m so thankful to the Natural Resources Committee for bringing this bill forward and look forward to working with my colleagues to making it into law.”
Congresswoman Tlaib’s full address to the Natural Resources Committee on her legislation can be viewed here.
The full text of the bill can be read here.