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The Conservation and Economic Growth Act cuts federal red tape to create jobs and encourage tourism and recreation.

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House bill would open beach access and protect old growth trees

The Conservation and Economic Growth Act cuts federal red tape to create jobs and encourage tourism and recreation.

The Conservation and Economic Growth Act, which passed the House Tuesday by a vote of 232-188, cuts federal red tape in ways that will create jobs and encourage tourism and recreation‚??while protecting the environment, say Republican supporters.

The act restores public and motorized access to 26 miles of North Carolina‚??s Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which Human Events reported earlier this spring was closed off because a bird listed as an endangered species was nesting in the area.

‚??This is about jobs and taxpayer rights to access recreation areas that they own,‚?Ě said Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.). ‚??It would reverse significant job losses and economic decline that Hatteras Island has experienced since the (National) Park Service cut off access to the most popular part of the seashore.‚?Ě He believes the state can and should do the job of overseeing its own beaches.

In addition to creating jobs in the conservation and natural resources industry, the bill protects endangered salmon from predatory California sea lions, the Chesapeake Bay, renews grazing permits and allows recreational shooting on public lands.

One provision supported by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) would allow the Sealaska Native Corporation to swap its old growth trees with the federal government, in exchange for second-growth timber on an existing road system in Alaska‚??s Tongass National Forest.

Young said the land swap would protect hundreds of timber jobs in rural and native communities where unemployment hovers at 25 percent, while allowing the government to protect the old growth stands. The bill also finalizes a settlement for 20,000 Alaska natives under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

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Written By

Audrey Hudson is an award-winning investigative journalist whose enterprise reporting has sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She won the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service in 2009 for her report on dangerous drug experiments by the federal government on war veterans, which prompted internal investigations and needed reforms within the Veterans Affairs Department. The report also captured first place for investigative reporting by the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Webby Awards for news and politics. Her breaking stories have been picked up and followed by major news publications and periodicals, including Readers Digest, Washington Monthly, and The Weekly Standard, as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Washington Post. With nearly 20 years of experience in Washington as a newspaper reporter and as a Capitol Hill staffer for Western lawmakers, she will now lead Human Events‚?? coverage of energy and environmental issues. A native of Kentucky, Mrs. Hudson has worked inside the Beltway for nearly two decades -- on Capitol Hill as a Senate and House spokeswoman, and most recently at The Washington Times covering Congress, Homeland Security, and the Supreme Court. Audrey‚??s email is AHudson@EaglePub.Co

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