Protecting Our Out of Doors
In Minnesota, we live for the great out-of-doors. We hunt, fish, bike, hike, boat, and camp in and along forests, lakes, and trails we treasure for their unspoiled cleanliness and beauty. The Nolan homestead in rural Crosby is a regular gathering place for 5 generations of Nolans who together tap maple syrup in spring, harvest wild rice in the fall, and never miss a hunting or fishing opener. As Congressman, I am determined to preserve our natural treasures for ourselves and our children, and I do everything in my power to advance laws and policies that protect our precious environment, use our resources wisely, and serve our national interest.
I’m proud to sit on two Subcommittees – the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment, and the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry – that enable me to promote the economic and ecological vitality of our northeastern Minnesota waterways, forests and farmlands, as well as our ability to produce clean energy to fuel manufacturing and generate good paying middle-class jobs for years to come.
In that regard, I am particularly proud of my amendments to the Water Resources Reform and Development bill (WRRDA) to close the St. Anthony Lock & Dam in Minneapolis, and expand the definition of “invasive species” to include all animal life – in order to prevent invasive species like invasive carp and zebra mussels from taking over our Minnesota waterways, destroying native habitats and threatening our multi-billion dollar sport fishing and tourist industry.
- Read my op-ed in the Duluth News Tribune about my amendments to the Water Resources bill that prevent the spread of invasive species into our waterways.
Preserving Wildlife Habitat
- I'm working on legislation supported by conservation groups to encourage farmers to preserve native prairie grasses and many of the measures I worked to include in the 2013 Farm Bill - protecting the Conservation Title, as well as other conservation priorities - are now public law.
- I've urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director, Dan Ashe, to take into consideration any and all harmful effects on our northern Minnesota timber industry, if the northern long-eared bat is placed on the endangered species list. We should be studying the true cause of the bat's population decline - a fungus known as white-nose syndrome - and not habitat destruction. Read my letter here.
- I fully support reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), which helps to conserve North America's waterfowl, fish, and wildlife resources. Minnesota currently has 93 NAWCA projects, successfully conserving more than 200,000 acres of wildlife habitat, and I will continue to support and fight for funding for these worthy projects that benefit our environment.
- I introduced the North Country National Scenic Trail Route Adjustment Act (H.R. 799), bipartisan legislation which would reroute the current North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) - a 4,600-mile trail linking seven states from North Dakota to Vermont - to avoid significant wetlands and bogs in Minnesota. My bill would also link the NCT up with the popular Appalachian Trail in Vermont, creating a unified trail system.
Common Sense policies + Environmental Protection
The battle for environmental protection is ongoing. To be sure, we’ve made great progress from the days when our rivers were catching on fire, the air over our towns and cities was hazy brown, and our land was spoiled with contaminated Superfund sites. Yet there is still much more work to do, understanding that in the long run, sound economic policies and sound environmental policies go hand in hand. The time is long past when America had to choose between jobs and clean air, water, and land.
With that in mind, I will continue to fight and work for common-sense laws and policies requiring mining, energy transportation and manufacturing to be done right, using the latest proven 21st-century products and technologies to protect the environment, lower our carbon footprint, cut back on pollution, and create good paying middle class jobs.
That’s why I’ve introduced and/or sponsored legislation to require American and international companies adhere to our strictest health, safety, and environmental standards, as well as to provide tax incentives to renewable energy producers, to encourage the timber industry to explore new uses for wood biofuels and advanced wood products, and to offer incentives for farmers to preserve native grasslands.
- During debate on the Farm Bill, I added an amendment to direct the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory to conduct research demonstrating the benefits of wood as an environmentally-friendly building material. Since then, the USDA has begun a million-dollar program to promote the many uses of wood in energy and advanced technology. Read more about my work to promote wood-based bioproducts here.
I introduced the landmark American Pipeline Jobs & Safety Act to require that all pipeline laid in the United States be made from safe and reliable American steel, helping to prevent future environmental disasters such as oil spills due to faulty pipelines.
- Read more about my American Pipeline Jobs & Safety Act.
- Watch me speak before the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee about the dangers of "fast-tracking" pipeline construction.
- Watch me speak in opposition to H.R.3, the Northern Route Approval Act, which would have authorized the Keystone XL pipeline by exempting a foreign corporation from our health, safety, and environmental standards of accountability.
More on Environment
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] Congressman Rick Nolan today applauded Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s decision to resign his office after months of allegations, scandals and controversies surrounding Pruitt’s ethics and management of the agency.
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s plastic and microplastic reduction amendment was approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday. The measure expresses the sense of Congress that there is great need to move ahead with legislation to tackle the devastating effects plastics and microplastics are having on the Great Lakes and the world’s oceans.
Nolan Passes Measures to Finish North Country Trail, Repair Soo Locks, and Battle Invasive Species
Our North Country Scenic Trails bill puts the finishing touches on America’s longest hiking trail.
[WASHINGTON D.C.] The U.S. House of Representatives today passed Congressman Rick Nolan’s bipartisan amendment adding $1 million to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Aquatic Nuisance Control Program. The measure doubles the funds available for the program to $2 million for 2019.
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Two key amendments and several major initiatives by U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan were included in the Water Resource Development Act (WRDA) of 2018 passed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today.
[WASHINGTON D.C.] U.S. Rep Rick Nolan today called on the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to continue using the Ely Municipal Airport as an arrival port for fire-fighting C-130 aircrafts.
The Ely Municipal Airport was recently renovated specifically to improve the runway’s ability to handle C-130’s. However, the USFS recently indicated that it is considering no longer using the Ely Airport for C-130s – a change which would make it more difficult for the USFS to effectively fight fires in the Ely region.
House Overwhelmingly Passes Nolan’s Superior National Forest Land Exchange Bill
Bipartisan Margin was 309-99
Under our Superior National Forest Land Exchange bill, taxpayers will receive more lakeshore, more timber, more wild rice waters, and more wetlands for public enjoyment and recreation.
Saving Minnesota’s Loons - Before It’s Too Late
These iconic Minnesota loons are swimming near Ely, on Minnesota’s Iron Range.
Mining copper and nickel on Minnesota’s Iron Range and addressing global climate change are compatible, complementary and essential to our way of life. We have the brains, the technology and the need to do both.