If you haven’t heard, The Great American Outdoors Act was signed into law on August 4. The bill was championed by organizations from the Sierra Club to the National Parks Conservation Association, who called the bill “a conservationist’s dream.” The law authorizes $9.5 billion per year in funding for major park-related needs and allocates $900 million a year to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The bill was introduced to the House of Representatives by Representative Joe Cunningham (D) of South Carolina and passed with bipartisan support in the House and Senate before it reached the president’s desk.
The bill is something of an amalgamation of two previously introduced bills: the Restore Our Parks Act and Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act. In addition, according to the NPCA, “the Great American Outdoors Act also dedicates $3 billion to the U.S. Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Education infrastructure projects to address necessary repairs throughout our U.S. public lands system.”
For national parks, the passage and implementation of the bill means funding for deferred maintenance projects throughout the National Park System; this means dollars allocated for projects at parks, national historical sites, and wild and scenic riverways across the country.
For more one the bill, check out this article from our partners at the NPCA. We congratulate them and advocacy organizations across the country on the passage of the bill. NPCA supporters have sent more than 147,000 messages to members of Congress since 2017 supporting funding for deferred maintenance and more than 96,000 messages supporting the Land and Water Conservation Fund.