Today, United States Representative Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) voted to pass H.R. 1957, the Great American Outdoors Act, to provide permanent, full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and establish the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund. This strong, bipartisan legislation, which passed the Senate last month, builds on the progress made by last year’s John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act. The Great American Outdoors Act will now go to the President’s desk for signature, ensuring critical investments in our national parks, public lands and conservation efforts today and into the future.
The Great American Outdoors Act ensures that the $900 million permanently authorized by Congress last year funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund at the levels that were promised. The LWCF is America’s most successful conservation program and these resources will make sure that it continues to:
- Support enhanced park and recreational access for local communities throughout the country;
- Addresses environmental injustice by creating green spaces near low-income communities and communities of color across the country by preserving our natural heritage in an equitable manner;
- Strengthens the recreation economy, which is one of the fastest growing economic sectors and a key driver of jobs across the country; and
- Implements recommendations from the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis’ Solving the Climate Crisis action plan to support the goal of protecting at least 30 percent of all U.S. lands and ocean areas by 2030 while helping fragile ecosystems, wildlife populations and communities become more resilient to the impacts of the climate crisis.
The Great American Outdoors Act establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, providing federal land management agencies with critical resources to address the $22 billion deferred maintenance backlog on our public lands.
Release from Congressman Bennie Thompson.