Peterson welcomes Passage of Great American Outdoors Act
July 23, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Collin Peterson today welcomed House passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, one of Congress’ most significant investments in environmental conservation in a generation.
“I’m an outdoorsman, and have worked for years to promote and expand access to public lands, trails and parks as a way to foster our outdoor traditions for future generations,” said Rep. Peterson. “For too long the federal priority has been to purchase land at the expense of the local tax base without any plan to properly maintain the land. I voted to send the Great American Outdoors Act to the President’s desk because it provides critical funding to maintain our existing public lands for wildlife management and outdoor recreation. With this bill’s focus on maintenance, we are moving in a more positive direction that will benefit activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, and snowmobiling which are just some of the activities that make Minnesota a great place to live.”
The bill fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million annually, and creates the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, which will provide funding to the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Education to fix buildings, trails, roads and other public infrastructure in need of repair for the next five years.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund, often referred to as LWCF, is used each year to enhance and establish local, state and national preservation areas. LWCF funds everything from local playgrounds to national park expansions and is one of the country’s most popular conservation programs. Minnesota has received approximately $266.3 million in LWCF funding over the past five decades, protecting places such as Voyageurs National Park, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Saint Croix National Scenic River.
More information about state-by-state LWCF impacts is available at https://www.lwcfcoalition.com/map-of-lwcf