John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (Public Law 116-9)

The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (Dingell Act) was signed into law on March 12, 2019, and consists of more than 100 individual bills that were introduced by 50 senators and several representatives. The Dingell Act includes provisions affecting public lands nationally, including the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Every Kid Outdoors Program, improvements to public land access, and more.

Dingell Act Implementation

On March 28, 2019 Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt issued Secretarial Order 3374, Implementation of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (PDF 280KB).

Section 4105. Identifiying opportunities for recreation, hunting, and fishing on Federal land.

The National Park Service (NPS) developed a priority list of lands in parks of at least 640 contiguous acres that have significantly restricted or no public access. Additional considerations included the potential for public access and the likelihood of resolving the absence of or restriction to public lands.

The NPS sought public comments for a 30-day period beginning in December 2019 to encourage assistance from the public to develop a list of national park lands that would benefit from new or increased access routes. Five priority areas in three parks have been identified that meet requirements specified under Section 4105.

A 768-acre parcel of land within the Kin Bineola Unit is federally owned and approximately three miles southwest from the main body of the park. The tract is surrounded by Navajo Trust Land administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Providing public access would require acquisition of an easement, right-of-way, or fee title from the BIA, who owns the land on behalf of the trust landowners, Tribe, and individuals who have beneficial title.
There is a 640-acre parcel of federally owned land within the NPS boundary that is surrounded by private land. It is located south of Lake Mead and southwest of the town of Meadview, Arizona. Gregg's Hideout Road is in the vicinity but does not cross this parcel and therefore does not provide public access. Providing public access would require acquisition of an easement, right-of-way, or fee title from a private landowner.
On December 3, 2004, the Petrified Forest Expansion Act was enacted and more than doubled authorized acreage of the park. The Act provided the authority for the NPS to acquire approximately 125,000 acres of private and state lands from willing sellers and the transfer of Bureau of Land Management lands within the new boundary to the NPS. Find information regarding the 2004 Petrified Forest Expansion Act.

The first area is composed of 7,768 acres and is located north of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway track. Access to NPS-managed lands is completely restricted. Providing public access would require acquisition of an easement, right-of-way, or fee title from a private landowner.

The second area is composed of 2,600 acres located south and west of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway track. Access to NPS managed lands is completely restricted. Providing public access would require acquisition of an easement, right-of-way, or fee title from a private landowner.

The third area is composed of 20,668 acres south and east of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway track. The state of Arizona owns 35 sections of land within the park's authorized boundary. NPS and state lands alternate to form a checkerboard of land ownership. The state of Arizona allows public access only by special use permit. Providing public access without a special use permit would require acquisition of an easement, right-of-way, or fee title from the state of Arizona.

News Releases

View the Department of the Interior's news releases announcing the signing of the Dingell Act and the Secretarial Order to implement it within the department.
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    Last updated: March 12, 2020

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