Senate Passes Great American Outdoors Act

The U.S. Senate Wednesday passed the Great American Outdoor Act, sending the bill to the House of Representatives. The bill establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to support deferred maintenance projects on federal lands. The bill provides $900 million annually for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and $9.5 billion over the next five years in national park and other public land maintenance. However, livestock and public lands groups argue the bill is a “disappointment to those who value conservation and active management of our natural resources.” Public Lands Council Executive Director Kaitlynn Glover says by making funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund mandatory, “proponents of this bill sentenced existing and future lands and waters to the same fate facing current federal assets – billions of dollars in deferred maintenances.” The Public Lands Council actively represents cattle and sheep producers who hold public lands grazing permits. President Donald Trump indicated he would sign the bill, if passed by both the House and Senate.