It's an honor to finally report on the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act of 2020.
Tuesday marked the final passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, signed into law by President Trump and set forth with a promise of nearly $3 billion devoted annually to conservation projects, outdoor recreation, and improvement of national parks and American public lands.
Through the legislation, there will be full, mandatory, and permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the massive undertaking of a reported $20 billion maintenance backlog on federal lands.
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives both passed the bill with strong bipartisan support, and proponents called the Great American Outdoors Act is the most significant conservation legislation enacted in nearly half a century.
"There hasn't been anything like this since Teddy Roosevelt, I suspect," Trump said.
Republicans Cory Gardner of Colorado and Steve Daines of Montana, two states with tangible economic implications in the outdoor recreation sector, championed the bill in the Senate, and the late John Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia, sponsored the original version in the U.S. Congress.
The support the bill grants to the National Park Service will address decades-long issues with maintenance needs, and could help create some 100,000 jobs throughout the country. Work to restore our parks and recreation communities can finally be done, with the funding to back it.
It's a positive sign when a bill that helps American natural resources receives so much support and sees a relatively speedy journey to passage. That this so significantly deals with what are seen by most as obvious problems that can and should be fixed is even more encouraging.
Here's to reinvigorated optimism that visiting campgrounds, hunting on federal land, fishing on public waters, and enjoying the great outdoors can be preserved even further for future generations.
Should it inspire you to gear up and go on a trip, you know what to do.