Congress Passes Landmark Conservation Bill

Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Great American Outdoors Act that would require full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and address much of the backlog of deferred maintenance across several federal agencies.

Deemed the “biggest federal lands bill in 50 years,” the Great American Outdoors Act would for the first time fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) with $900 million annually in fossil fuel revenue. Additionally, the bill would provide more than $9 billion over five years for agencies such as the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management to address the $20 billion maintenance backlog on federal public lands. The LWCF utilizes federal money for national park maintenance, natural resource protection, and matching grants for state and local parks and recreation projects. Since 1964 the LWCF has provided more than $231 in federal funds for projects in Maryland.

The bill passed the Senate in June with bipartisan support by a vote of 73-25 and today the House gave final approval by a vote of 310 to 107 . Politico reports that passage of the bill may give western congressional republicans a reelection boost after the President put them in a tough spot with a controversial nominee for the Bureau of Land Management. The President has thrown his support behind the bill.

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Great American Outdoors Act

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