Policy Update

Great American Outdoors Act

Region

Federal

NCEL Point of Contact

Dylan McDowell
Acting Executive Director

Contact
Legislation to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and invest and National Park infrastructure

Last week the U.S. Senate passed S.3422, The Great American Outdoors Act. The bill provides permanent funding of $900 million each year for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and invests $1.9 billion annually into national parks maintenance projects. The LWCF uses royalties from offshore oil and gas leasing to protect important land, water, and recreational areas in all 50 states. In 2019, Congress reauthorized the LWCF, but it currently lacks dedicated funding. Also, the Department of Interior’s maintenance projects have been neglected, leading to a serious backlog. 

This bill advances and supports both conservation and outdoor recreation efforts. The Great American Outdoors  Act received strong bipartisan support in the Senate and proposes to help create jobs, rebuild local economies, and help expand outdoor access. The House is expected to vote on the bill in the coming weeks.

Below is a breakdown of the annual funding allocation from this bill.

  • National Park Service – 70%
  • Forest Service – 15%
  • Bureau of Indian Education – 5%
  • Bureau of Land Management – 5%
  • Fish and Wildlife Service – 5%

**Note: The percentage of funds allocated to each agency will be based off of the amount of revenue derived from oil and gas development each year, and is not to exceed $1.9 bill for any fiscal year.**

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