The Great American Outdoors Act has passed the U.S. House

The Great American Outdoors Act has passed the U.S. House

ConservationNWAdmin / Jul 22, 2020 / Legislation, News Releases, Public Lands

All but one of Washington state’s Members of Congress voted for bipartisan conservation and public lands bill: Rep. Dan Newhouse.

The Great American Outdoors Act has passed the U.S. House 310-107!

A HUGE win for public lands, outdoor recreation and wildlife, this bill permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million annually, while also providing much needed revenue for the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Education, as well as $1.9 billion annually for five years for critical national parks maintenance.

With bipartisan sponsorship and support, the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) (H.R. 1957, S. 3422) passed the Senate in June with a 73-25 vote. President Trump is expected to sign the bill.

“Even in these intensely divided times, the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act shows that public lands, conservation and outdoor access continue to be held dear by Americans across the political spectrum, from sea to shining sea,” said Chase Gunnell, Communications Director for Conservation Northwest.

“Full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and increased appropriations for the Forest Service and other public lands agencies will directly support the natural heritage critical to Washington’s quality of life, as well as the massive outdoor economy it supports, generating more than 201,000 direct jobs and $26.2 billion in consumer spending in our state,” said Gunnell.

“On top of helping people get outdoors to support their well-being, the investments Congress committed today will restore habitat and boost conservation efforts for threatened species, from Chinook salmon to lynx and wolverines,” said Gunnell.

“The Great American Outdoors Act is a win-win for outdoor enthusiasts, fish and wildlife, and the economy in the Pacific Northwest and across the country.”

All but one of Washington’s Members of Congress voted ‘Yea’ on this bipartisan public lands bill: Representative Dan Newhouse of central Washington’s 4th District.

“We’re deeply grateful to senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray for steadfastly championing LWCF funding, and to our state’s Representatives who voted today to support public lands and outdoor access,” said Gunnell.

“Unfortunately, instead of supporting his constituents who hike, camp, ride horses, fish, hunt or otherwise enjoy central Washington’s spectacular outdoors, and the small businesses that benefit from tourism and recreation dollars, Representative Newhouse today choose to spread talking points frighteningly similar to those of anti-public lands special interests,” said Gunnell.

“Representative Newhouse’s ‘No’ vote on the Great American Outdoors Act and other recent anti-wildlife efforts merit pushback from constituents in the 4th District who want to see their elected leaders support public lands, outdoor access, and stewardship of our natural heritage for future generations.”

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For more information: COMMUNICATIONS@CONSERVATIONNW.ORG

 

Read more about this historic conservation opportunity, and other federal legislation IN THIS STATEMENT FROM OUR PARTNERS THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION or IN THIS BLOG FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.
Hikers enjoy a day on Abercrombie Mountain in a Colville National Forest Roadless Area. Photo: Craig Romano