Press Releases

A.T. Caucus Co-Chair Beyer Hails Passage Of Great American Outdoors Act

Washington, July 22, 2020
July 22, 2020 (Washington, D.C.) – Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) today voted to pass H.R. 1957, the Great American Outdoors Act, which will provide permanent, full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and establish the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund upon being signed into law. Beyer, the only former NPS Park Ranger serving in Congress, is Co-Chair of the bipartisan Appalachian National Scenic Trail Caucus.
“Preserving our National Parks, public lands, recreational areas, and natural heritage remains America’s ‘best idea,’ and that is what the Great American Outdoors Act accomplishes,” said Beyer. “This bill will make good on the promise of permanent funding to protect our wilderness for future generations. It is a win for outdoor recreation, for the economy, for wildlife, and for the country.”
The Great American Outdoors Act ensures that the $900 million authorized for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) can be permanently and fully funded, and will:
Support enhanced park and recreational access for local communities throughout the country;
Address environmental injustice by creating green spaces near low-income communities and communities of color across the country;
Strengthen the recreation economy, one of the fastest growing economic sectors and a key driver of jobs across the country;
Implement recommendations from the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis’ Solving the Climate Crisis action plan to support the goal of protecting at least 30 percent of all U.S. lands and ocean areas by 2030 while helping fragile ecosystems, wildlife populations and communities become more resilient to the impacts of the climate crisis; and
Establish the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, providing federal land management agencies with critical resources to address the $22 billion deferred maintenance backlog on public lands.
Rep. Don Beyer is Co-Chair of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Caucus. He previously served on the Natural Resources Committee, where he was the author of the Outdoor REC Act, signed into law by President Obama, which requires the Bureau of Economic Analysis to measure the economic impact of the outdoor recreation. Beyer is the only former NPS Park Ranger serving in Congress, and is nearing completion of his longtime goal of section hiking the Appalachian Trail.
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