WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 22, 2020 – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Great American Outdoors Act, a bipartisan bill to improve our public lands, stabilize funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and provide economic relief to help kickstart the economy. This bill was passed by the Senate on June 17, and will now be sent to the President's desk for signature into law.
Once signed into law, this legislation will create a National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to address the growing maintenance backlog on federal public lands. Half the revenue from energy development on public lands would be allocated to the fund and distributed to the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Education to cover overdue maintenance costs.
The Great American Outdoors Act will fully and permanently fund the LWCF at $900 million annually, ensuring all funding is directed to its intended purpose of state and federal conservation projects.
"Whether you're an avid conservationist, an outdoor recreation enthusiast, or both, there's ample reason to appreciate the Great American Outdoors Act," said DU CEO Adam Putnam. "If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that America has some of the best and most vibrant natural scenery you can find anywhere in the world, particularly on our public lands. This bill will help us keep it that way. By addressing the maintenance backlog and fully funding the LWCF, Congress is ensuring these opportunities are available for future generations to enjoy while strengthening our outdoor economy for years to come."
These new investments will boost America's outdoor recreation industry, which generates $887 billion annually and supports 7.6 million American jobs.
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Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 14.5 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.