Great American Outdoors Act signed into law
August 4, 2020
Contact: Tyler Schwartze
The Great American Outdoors Act, which was officially signed into law today by the President at a White House ceremony, will usher in a new era of public lands protections and expanded outdoor recreation opportunities across the nation. The Conservation Federation of Missouri commends the overwhelming support from so many elected officials that help make this happen. The law, which was passed by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in Congress earlier this summer, will permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and will provide up to $1.9 billion a year to address deferred maintenance issues at our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other public lands.
“This is an incredible win for wildlife, public lands and waters, and for all Missouri families who enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, hunting or otherwise exploring Missouri’s cherished forests and wildlife areas,” said Tyler Schwartze, Executive Director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri. “The Great American Outdoors Act will expand recreation opportunities, open up additional hunting and fishing access points, boost our outdoor recreation economy, and create good-paying jobs, which are very much needed during these challenging times.”
“The Great American Outdoors Act is a truly historic, bipartisan conservation accomplishment that will protect wildlife habitat, expand recreational opportunities, restore public lands and waters, and create good jobs,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Time and again, our leaders have shown that conservation can not only bridge the partisan divide, but also put Americans back to work and safeguard wildlife and our way of life for future generations. Congress should build on this bipartisan achievement and jump-start our economic recovery by passing additional job-creating measures such as a 21st Century Conservation Corps and the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.”
The Land and Water Conservation Fund has created and maintained local, state and national parks, hiking and biking trails, waterfront access and much more for over five decades. Last year Congress permanently reauthorized this successful conservation program. The Great American Outdoors Act provides full and permanent funding for it. Over the years, Missouri has received over $146 million dollars from LWCF to maintain such places as the Ozark National Scenic River and the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. The fund also helps fuel our vibrant outdoor recreation economy which generates $14.9 billion in consumer spending every year and supports 133,000 jobs in Missouri.
For more information about the Conservation Federation of Missouri or to join in their citizen-led effort, visit www.confedmo.org.
*Photo by the Missouri Department of Conservation.