WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed its first significant public lands conservation bill in years, designating more than one million acres of wilderness for environmental protection and permanently reauthorizing a federal program to pay for conservation measures.
The House passage of the bill, on a vote of 363-62, sends the measure, which was passed by the Senate this month, to the desk of President Trump. The vote Tuesday offered a rare moment of bipartisanship in a divided chamber and a rare victory for environmentalists at a time when the Trump administration is working aggressively to strip away protections on public lands and open them to mining and drilling.
Nonetheless, Mr. Trump was expected to sign the bill into law. But the one million acres of wilderness that would be protected by the bill stand in contrast to the administration’s plans to open up for drilling nine million acres of protected habitat for the sage grouse, two million acres of protected land in Utah, parts of the vast Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and most United States coastal waters.
Lawmakers and environmentalists celebrated passage of the bill as a victory for bipartisanship and conservation.