Action Alert: House Expected to Vote on the Great American Outdoors Act
On June 17, the United States Senate voted overwhelmingly (73-25) to pass the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). The GAOA will provide full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and address the $12 billion maintenance backlog on our public lands. Now, the GAOA is in the House of Representatives, and a final vote on the bill is expected on July 22.
The LWCF, created in 1965, provides funding for land and water conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation projects. The Fund is not tax-funded; rather, it's funded by royalties collected from offshore oil and gas operations. The Great American Outdoors Act will ensure that the LWCF will be fully funded at $900 million annually for just the third time in the Fund's half-century history. For reference, the Fund is slated to receive $495 million this year - the highest allocation in the last 17 years.
Additionally, the new legislation will provide funding for the nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog currently faced on our public lands. The Great American Outdoors Act will dedicate $9.5 billion to restore public land infrastructure over a period of five years, with the National Park Service (NPS) receiving 70% of these funds. Other federal agencies, such as the US Forest Service (USFS), US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will receive most of the remainder.
Join NDA in supporting legislation that fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund and tackles the huge maintenance backlog currently faced on our public lands. Visit the NDA Grassroots Advocacy Center, where you can directly email your Congressional Representatives and urge them to support funding for conservation projects, public lands and outdoor recreation.