WASHINGTON – President Trump today signed the Great American Outdoors Act, which will permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million annually and provide $9.5 billion over five years to fix maintenance problems plaguing America’s public lands.
Environment America has prioritized LWCF, America’s best conservation and recreation program, for years. To urge lawmakers to invest in America’s great outdoors, the organization has passed out LWCF face masks to lawmakers; created lawn signs and banners; written a steady series of op-eds; and served as a continual presence on Capitol Hill and in congressional districts.
In response to the president signing the bill into law, Environment America’s Conservation Program Director Steve Blackledge released the following statement:
“The Great American Outdoors Act is now law, and that’s no small accomplishment. There’s finally a lock and key on money that was always intended for conservation projects -- yet, for decades, has been consistently diverted to other purposes.
“This new law is not only a major investment in outdoor spaces but also in every American’s physical and mental health. It’s a decisive step toward acknowledging that our lives are made richer if surrounded by more nature, more open spaces, whether it’s a local park or the Grand Canyon.
“We hope Congress can remain clear-eyed about what’s needed after this historic moment. From embracing wildlife corridors to protecting 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030, there’s so much more to do. But for the moment, we’re thrilled to have achieved a bipartisan win for the great outdoors during these deeply partisan times.”
Environment America is a national network of 29 state environmental groups. Our staff work together for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the United States put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy. Environment America is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to getting things done.