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House passes two bills for Colorado parks and public lands 

click to enlarge BETHANY ALVAREZ
  • Bethany Alvarez

A bill that would help address the maintenance backlog for Colorado's parks and public lands passed the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources. The Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act, sponsored by Rep. Rob Bishop, a Republican from Utah, drew support from dozens of co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle, including Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs. The bill creates a fund to collect part of the revenue from energy development on federal land, maxing out at $1.3 billion a year. It will pay for repairs to historic structures, visitor facilities, transportation projects and more efforts to benefit the National Park Service. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Education will also receive funding.

The same committee also voted to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which buys and preserves land with offshore oil and gas money. The program, created in 1964, is set to expire Sept. 30.

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