Bono Mack’s Wilderness, Water Recycling Bills Passed by Congress

Widely-supported legislation protects wild lands and improves water infrastructure to help deal with drought heads to President’s desk


Calling it “great news” for the region, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) today praised House passage of the public lands package that included Bono Mack’s widely supported bill to preserve certain desert and forest landscapes and rivers in Riverside County, in addition to Bono Mack’s water recycling bill to improve water infrastructure in Southwest Riverside County. The legislation now heads to the President’s desk for his signature.

“I am thrilled that through this legislation, some of our region’s most scenic landscapes and rivers will be preserved for years to come,” said Bono Mack. “These wild lands are a treasured resource in our community and a reason that so many of us call this spectacular region home.

“It has been an honor to work with so many local residents, recreational enthusiasts and groups to craft this important legislation. Through collaboration and cooperation, we were able to secure broad support for this bill and witness its final passage today. I am proud that these precious lands and rivers will be protected for future generations – this is great news for our community.”

The California Desert and Mountain Heritage Act will protect approximately 190,000 acres of scenic and ecologically-sensitive land in Riverside County, including parts of Joshua Tree National Park, and four wild and scenic rivers.

Additionally, Bono Mack’s legislation to improve water recycling and treatment infrastructure in Southwest Riverside County was passed as part of this lands package. The Rancho California Water District Recycled Water Reclamation Facility Act (H.R. 371), is a major project that will create facilities for water recycling, demineralization and desalination, and distribution of non-potable water supplies in Southern Riverside County.

“Water sustains the life and economy of our desert communities and agriculture sector. As our region faces drought concerns, it is essential that we work to conserve this precious resource. This legislation takes a thoughtful, comprehensive approach that will help meet the increasing need for water from both our agricultural and residential communities,” Bono Mack said.

NOTE: Bono Mack participated in a press conference with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall and a bipartisan group of other Members of Congress on the passage of the omnibus public lands bill. Pictures are available upon request.