National Parks News and Events

Trump Signs landmark Great American Outdoors Act

Written by sierrarecmagazine

Bi-Partisan Support For Great American Outdoors Act Provides A New Era For Conservation and Recreation in this Country.

washington, August 3, 2020 – Heralded as the most significant conservation bill in a generation, President Trump today signed the Great American Outdoor Act today in Washington..

The bill passed the House and Senate with historic bipartisan support with Nancy Polosi signing off on the bill Thursday. the bill originally introduced by U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), which fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and addresses the approximately $20 billion maintenance backlog on federal public lands. This historic vote earned praise from leading conservation groups in Colorado and across the country.

Here’s what to know about the land conservation legislation:

It would provide repairs to park infrastructure

The National Park Service accounts for 84 million acres of land at 400 different sites. But as of 2019, there was $11.9 billion in deferred maintenance and repairs needed. The bill will direct up to $6.65 billion to priority repairs and up to $3 billion for other agencies like the Fish and Wildlife service.

It would permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund 

The bill would irrevocably offer $900 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund each year. This fund sometimes gets shifted by Congress for other priorities.

This is a historic deal reflecting the broad, bipartisan support for our public lands. The Great American Outdoors Act will be one of the biggest conservation victories in generations, solidifying our investments in this country’s outdoor economy and putting an end to the constant raiding of resources intended for LWCF. We applaud our congressional champions and the administration for finding common ground and working together to ensure future generations will have access to close-to-home recreation,” said Tom Cors, Director of Government Relations for Lands at The Nature Conservancy.

“This is a historic victory over 50 years in the making for communities across the country that benefit from the economic, cultural and recreational value of America’s public lands and close-to-home recreation.
Despite years of uneven funding, LWCF has conserved iconic landscapes in every state; protected our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, wilderness, monuments and battlefields; and supported community investments in parks and outdoor recreation opportunities. Now, LWCF will be a promise fully
kept, as a permanent commitment to conservation, recreation and community needs that for too long have fallen through the cracks. And, it will do all this while driving job creation and economic recovery efforts our country needs right now.
“The LWCF Coalition applauds bipartisan champions like Reps. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), as well as House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), House leadership and a host of longstanding supporters on both sides of the aisle. Their work has ensured that funds set aside for conservation and recreation access projects across the country will no longer be redirected for other purposes. With this legislation, the original vision of LWCF will at last be
realized, and countless missing puzzle pieces within our national parks, forests and wildlife refuges will be secured and not lost through private sale. Local communities will now have more resources to meet their recreation needs and the confidence to make long-term investments to protect their water supplies,
adapt to a changing climate and strike a needed balance between development and protection. Historical sites will be preserved to educate future generations. And sportsmen and women will no longer be frustrated by obstacles to public hunting and fishing access.
“Joining with LWCF’s congressional heroes in today’s once-in-a-generation conservation victory are thousands of dedicated partners from across our coalition. The LWCF Coalition is incredibly grateful for the work of nonprofits, businesses, local elected officials, recreationists and other stakeholders who have driven a bipartisan, grassroots campaign for decades to this ultimate success. This marks a new era for conservation and recreation in this country.”

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