A major public lands bill overwhelmingly passed the U.S. House with the vote of 8th District Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin and her colleagues from both sides of the aisle.

The Holly Democrat was one of 363 House members to vote Tuesday to pass the Natural Resources Management Act, a bipartisan package of bills that permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund and increases access to federal lands for hunting and fishing. The act, which passed the Senate two weeks ago, 92-8, designates several new protected parks, wildernesses, and other areas.

Slotkin said her office had fielded, “a high volume of calls and letters on the fund’s importance” and that, “Supporting its reauthorization was an easy vote.” She added that the fund has more than a 50-year track record of protecting and expanding natural resources and creating vital outdoor-recreation jobs. The fund, whose authorization had expired in September, has pumped $329 million into Michigan in its 53-year history.

It directly benefits the 8th District through funds that support the Brighton and Island Lake State Recreation Areas in Livingston County. It also increases the funding cap for the MotorCities National Heritage Area from $10 million to $12 million. The area touches 16 Michigan counties, including Oakland, Ingham and Livingston. (JK)