Great American Outdoors Act Passes Congress - Set to Become Law!

HUGE NEWS! The most significant conservation funding bill in decades just passed the U.S. Congress and is expected to be signed into law. Learn more about the Great American Outdoors Act and thank your representatives for their support!
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
July 22, 2020
Great American Outdoors Act Passes Congress - Set to Become Law!

Your voice made a difference! The Great American Outdoors Act just passed the House with an overwhelming, bipartisan vote. Next, it goes to the President’s desk and is expected to be signed into law.

This is huge news. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the Great American Outdoors Act is the most significant conservation funding bill in decades. The legislation includes measures The Mountaineers has spent years advocating for, including finally ensuring full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) as well as establishing new funding to restore and maintain public lands. In total, the bill means as much as $2.8 billion a year for public lands, outdoor recreation, maintenance and restoration, and new green spaces! 

It’s rare for lawmakers to agree on anything these days, but the American people’s overwhelming support for our outdoors helped transcend party lines. The bill passed both the Senate and the House with sizable majorities. We appreciate the support of nearly all the Washington delegation for this bill, and especially our main champions, Senator Cantwell and Representative Kilmer. 

This victory happened because of you! The Mountaineers community stepped up in a big way to contact your representatives in support of public lands. Nearly 1,500 of you reached out to your legislators in support of the Great American Outdoors Act, and thousands of our community have taken action to protect LWCF over the past four years. THANK YOU!

There’s one last important action to take: Thank your legislators for their fantastic support for our public lands and the Great American Outdoors Act. Use the easy action tool below to send your representatives a quick note of appreciation.

Thank Your Lawmakers

What’s in the bill?

As we shared last month, the Great American Outdoors Act will provide:

  • Full and permanent funding for LWCF: For over 50 years, LWCF has protected iconic places like Mount Rainier National Park and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, and enhanced countless trails and trailheads, neighborhood parks, and climbing areas. This funding comes from offshore oil and gas drilling - not taxpayer dollars. However, Congress has historically diverted over half of its intended funding ($900 million annually) for other, non-conservation purposes. 

    The Great American Outdoors Act will guarantee full funding for LWCF each year - doubling the amount of funding for parks and public lands!

  • Funding to maintain and restore parks and public lands: The bill makes up to $1.9 billion available for deferred maintenance and restoration of our National Parks and other public lands. And thanks to work from our partners at Outdoor Alliance, American Whitewater, and others, the bill includes an additional $600 million per year to address the maintenance backlog in our National Forests, BLM lands, and more. 

    This funding will help keep trails, trailheads, and park facilities and roads operational, allowing Mountaineers to access the wild places we love to explore.

What’s Next?

The President is expected to sign the legislation soon, at which point it will become law. We’ll be sure to let you all know when things are officially in the books!

photo by nick drake

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Evy Dudey
Evy Dudey says:
Jul 23, 2020 10:01 AM

Excellent news!