WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Wildlife Federation heralds the introduction of the Great American Outdoors Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill will permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and provide money for deferred maintenance projects at our national parks and other public lands.
“At a time when there is so much partisan division and strife, the Great American Outdoors Act is an opportunity for coming together around a bill that will create new jobs, stimulate the economy, protect public lands and expand opportunities for outdoor recreation,” said Tracy Stone-Manning, associate vice president of public lands at the National Wildlife Federation. “The overcrowded parks and hiking trails that we witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic highlights a problem that has existed for years: Americans simply don’t have enough access to public lands and community parks. This legislation will expand those opportunities, boost our economy and play an important role in our collective recovery.”
“The Great American Outdoors Act is an investment in America’s communities, who are still reeling from the health and economic effects of the global pandemic. Permanently funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund and providing money for deferred maintenance projects at national parks and forests will generate desperately-needed jobs in construction, restoration and conservation,” said Camilla Simon, executive director of Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting and the Outdoors (HECHO). “LWCF has always helped protect wildlife, our public lands and our collective American heritage. Now it will also help us begin the process of healing from the health and economic crisis we have suffered.”
The Land and Water Conservation Fund has created and maintained local, state and national parks, hiking and biking trails, waterfront access and much more for over five decades. Last year Congress permanently reauthorized this successful conservation program. The Great American Outdoors Act provides full and permanent funding for it. The bill will also provide up to $9.5 billion for deferred maintenance projects at national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other public lands.
The National Wildlife Federation applauds the bipartisan leadership provided by the following co-sponsors of the legislation: Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Norma Torres (D-CA), Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME), Rep. T.J. Cox (D-CA), Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK), Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE).
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