Great American Outdoors Act Permanently Funds The Land and Water Conservation Fund
U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today helped pass the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act – which he cosponsored – to make funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) permanent, as well as support the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund. This legislation would also support the nearly $22 billion backlog of deferred maintenance projects on federal lands.
“Each year, our economy is driven by the millions of people who visit Florida to enjoy the outdoors, and more than that, our entire way of life is tied to preserving public land and protecting our environment,” Rep. Mast said. “This legislation builds on the progress we made last year to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund by making its funding permanent. The Great American Outdoors Act is huge victory in our fight to protect our waterways and preserve our public lands – including the Everglades –for generations to come.”
The Land and Water Conservation Fund was permanently reauthorized as part of the Natural Resources Management Act in February 2019. The Great American Outdoors Act has been passed by both chambers and will now go to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
Florida’s outdoor experience is the very cornerstone of the economy and quality of life for 20 million residents, supporting a $58 billion industry and 485,000 direct jobs. Over the last 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has invested more than $1 billion across Florida to conserve fish and wildlife habitat, and enhance public hunting and fishing access. The program makes it possible to leverage local resources, address maintenance backlogs, build marinas, youth athletic fields or playgrounds, and protect multi-billion restoration investments in America’s Everglades. Rep. Mast has been a strong advocate for the program, including cosponsoring the Land and Water Conservation Fund Reauthorization and Fairness Act, as well as supporting the Natural Resources Management Act to permanently reauthorize the program.
The legislation can be found HERE.