The Great American Outdoors Act will fix crumbling national park infrastructure and permanently support the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund.
By Chris D’Angelo | Huffpost
In a rare display of bipartisanship, the U.S. Senate has passed a sweeping public lands package that both addresses the ballooning maintenance backlog at national parks and provides full, permanent funding for the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program established in 1964 to protect natural areas and water resources.
Co-sponsors of the legislation, which passed Wednesday by an overwhelming 73-25 vote, have hailed it as the most important conservation bill in a generation ― one that will preserve public lands and create thousands of jobs at a time when communities across America are reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. It now heads to the House for consideration, and President Donald Trump has promised to sign it into law.
In a speech on the Senate floor last week, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) called the legislation a “chance in a lifetime.”
“By helping the land, we’re helping the communities, because it’s there for future generations,” Gardner said. “This really is an opportunity for this nation to come together at a time of great need, economically and I think spiritually, quite frankly.”