2020 has been a year marked by great uncertainty. Yet some things have remained certain throughout the upheaval: Public lands are a source of respite and hope for Americans. And our public lands are a place where we can find common ground.
The Great American Outdoors Act (S.3342) will fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and invest in critical maintenance and repair needs in national parks and on other public lands. It is a decisive win for the environment and our economy. Cosponsored by Senators Wyden and Merkley, it has just passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support.
The Great American Outdoors Act:
- Provides full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), one of America’s most important conservation programs. LWCF supports acquisition and access to parks, wildlife refuges and recreation areas at the federal, state and local level in Oregon and across the country.
- Allocates nearly $10 billion over the next five years to address deferred maintenance on National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management lands and waters.
- Creates jobs that support rural communities and the recreation economy that have been hit hard by Covid-19.
Make your voice heard
Relief and recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will continue to be the main priority in Congress for the foreseeable future. As our elected officials consider stimulus packages to support economic recovery, we must urge them to include effective, on-the-ground investments that strengthen the vitality of our public lands and waters and our economy as we work to recuperate from the Covid-19 crisis.
So please, join ONDA in thanking Senators Wyden and Merkley for supporting the Great American Outdoor Act. And remind them there are other important high desert landscapes in need of protection – such as Sutton Mountain, the Owyhee Canyonlands and our desert Wild and Scenic Rivers – that deserve their attention. Investing in and protecting our public lands now will create a more just, healthy and thriving America for all.