Regarding COVID-19: Please recreate responsibly and practice social distancing. Closures and travel restrictions are changing rapidly, always check and respect local regulations.

The US House of Representatives passes the Great American Outdoors Act

The landmark bill will permanently fund the vitally important Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The landmark bill passed with a vote of 310–107, funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund and bringing in billions of dollars for public lands.

The passage of this bill is important for a whole plethora of reasons, the foremost of which is the permanent funding of the LWCF. This funding, which is primarily derived from offshore energy development, will allow the National Park Service to begin addressing the serious maintenance backlog with $9.5 billion in new resources. In addition, the act will support over 100,00 direct and indirect jobs, according to the Department of the Interior.

“This is a historic victory over 50 years in the making for communities across the country that benefit from the economic, cultural and recreational value of America’s public lands and close-to-home recreation,” said the LWCF coalition, an organization that advocates for the fund, in a statement.

This is a significant win for public lands advocates -- the LWCF has been an integral part of conservation efforts over decades, providing the funding to complete over 40,000 projects nationwide.

Seventy percent of the funds will be earmarked for NPS, with 15% to the U.S. Forest Service and 5% each to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Education. Passing this act could also have a significant positive affect goes a long way towards supporting and improving outdoor recreation in rural areas hit hard by the pandemic. Lawmakers hope the act will help boost rural economies near natural sites, create jobs, and accelerate economic recovery.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Kyle FrostExplorer

Wearer of many hats at The Outbound Collective. I'm @kylefrost pretty much everywhere.