WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United States House of Representatives passed the Great American Outdoors Act. The bill now moves to President Trump’s desk for his signature. This act would fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a popular program that invests in national parks, public lands, and communities across the country. LWCF would improve access points, expand trails and services, and create new parks and outdoor greenspaces at no cost to US taxpayers. The Great American Outdoors Act would also provide billions of dollars to help address the backlog of deferred maintenance in America’s national parks.
Phil Francis, Chair of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, issued the following statement in reaction to the news:
“The passage of the Great American Outdoors Act is a momentous occasion. We applaud the bi-partisan effort in Congress and thank all the Senators and members of the House of Representatives who supported this act. It is one more huge step forward in supporting and restoring our national parks.
“Passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, which includes full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, is long overdue. It is the necessary next step to fulfill LWCF’s promise to the American people; to preserve nationally significant public lands and provide recreational opportunities in communities across the country.
“In addition, this act will address the crippling $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog at our national parks, a step that is critical to the continued protection and preservation of our treasured natural and cultural resources. With over 40,000 years of collective experience working in national parks, we know what a difference this funding can make on the ground.
A growing number of scientists are calling for the protection of at least 30 percent of the planet’s lands and oceans by 2030 and today’s victory is an important first step in that effort.
“Today, we celebrate. But our work is not done. We urge this administration to move swiftly to advance the Great American Outdoors Act over the finish line and continue the work to ensure our national parks and public lands are protected for future generations.”
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