Conservation Corner

The BIG NEWS is the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) is heading to the House of Representatives after being passed by the Senate in June 2020.

This bill is huge because it is a combination of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Permanent Funding Act and the Restore our Parks and Public Lands Bill.

As you might remember, the LWCF was passed in March 2019 to permanently address and protect our national parks, national forests, wildlife refuges, rivers and lake areas.

Funding for the LCWF comes from fossil fuel drilling, but historically has been severely underfunded.

Now, with this new legislation, GAOA will address $20 billion in deferred maintenance within our national parks; create 100,000 new jobs for our national parks, forest service, fish and wildlife and BLM; and finally to provide guaranteed funding of $900 million to LWCF.

GCA has issued a call for action for all of us to contact our members of Congress to support this Act, which will be voted on before this publication comes out. During these difficult times, we all realize how incredibly important our public lands and parks are to the American people. During the pandemic, our outdoor spaces have given us all solace and normalcy. Let’s appreciate this legislation coming now to help us maintain our national parks and create new jobs.