Sen. Mark Udall is taking a second shot at a bill that would redirect fines for illegally damaging public lands to the federal agencies responsible for restoring that damage.
Under the legislation, when violators pay fines for illegally harming public lands — such as starting a wildfire –the money collected could be used to help fix the damage.
Now, fines are collected by the U.S. Treasury. Udall’s bill, similar to legislation that failed in 2007, would allow the funds to instead go to the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior.
“This change likely won’t cover the cost of repairing all of the damage caused by illegal activities in all instances, but it will at least provide some assistance to federal agencies and help ensure future generations can enjoy and appreciate our public lands,” Udall, D-Eldorado Springs, said in a news release Tuesday.
Any money left after the repairs are made would be directed to the U.S. Crime Victims Fund.