Sweeping federal conservation act provides protection for Tennessee land, water

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, left, looks into the Chattanooga valley as he walks with chief ranger Todd Roeder, center, and Tricia Mims with the Friends of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Parks during a visit to Point Park on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Lookout Mountain, Tenn. Sen. Alexander visited the park to push for a bill that he says will help address maintenance backlogs at federal parks like Point Park.
photo U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander touches a cannon as he looks into the Chattanooga valley during a visit to Point Park on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Lookout Mountain, Tenn. Sen. Alexander visited the park to push for a bill that he says will help address maintenance backlogs at federal parks like Point Park.

What's being billed as the most sweeping piece of conservation legislation in more than a decade will provide Tennessee millions of dollars for land and aquatic conservation after overwhelmingly passing the House Tuesday evening.

The Natural Resources Management Act bundles more than 100 individual land bills and re-authorizes the lapsed Land and Water Conservation Fund. That fund is the highlight of the act, according to lawmakers, and has provided more than $200 million in conservation to Tennessee since it went into effect in the 1960s.