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A Win for Wildlife, Public Lands, and the Economy
U.S. House of Representatives passes Great American Outdoors Act
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation heralds the overwhelming bipartisan support for the Great American Outdoors Act in Congress. This bipartisan legislation will provide permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and $1.9 billion a year to tackle deferred maintenance projects at national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and other public lands.
“Passage of the Great American Outdoors Act is good news for our state and our nation. It will restore wildlife habitat and increase access to public lands, boost opportunities for recreation, and create jobs in conservation, restoration and construction,” said Charles “Trey” Buckner, III, president of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation. “This legislation will help our state immediately by stimulating our economy and it will help in the long run so that future generations will be able to enjoy the public lands that we all treasure so much.”
“Passing the Great American Outdoors Act is quite simply the most significant investment in conservation in decades. It’s a huge win for wildlife, our natural treasures, our economy, and all Americans, who enjoy our America’s public lands for solace, recreation, and exercise, especially amid this pandemic,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “The Great American Outdoors Act shows us once again that investing in our public lands and waters is a rare issue that transcends partisan politics. All Americans will benefit from this historic legislation, which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, expand outdoor recreation opportunities in every community, and accelerate our nation’s economic recovery from COVID-19.”
Arkansas Representative French Hill stated earlier today, “My top priority as a member of the bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus is to promote programs that improve access to our state and federal public lands, including national parks. I’m proud to have this opportunity to make The Natural State a better place for our friends, families and neighbors to adventure and to call home.”
The Land and Water Conservation Fund has created and maintained local, state and national parks, hiking and biking trails, hunting and fishing access, and much more for over five decades. Last year Congress permanently reauthorized this successful conservation program. The Great American Outdoors Act provides full and permanent funding for it. Over the years, Arkansas has received more than $186 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to support places such as the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests, Cache River National Wildlife Refuge, and the Buffalo National River. It has also boosted our outdoor recreation economy which generates $9.7 billion in consumer spending and 96,000 jobs in Arkansas. ***
As a non-profit 501 (c) 3 conservation organization, the Arkansas Wildlife Federation’s mission is to promote conservation, responsible management, and sustainable use of Arkansas' fish, wildlife, natural resources and outdoor recreational opportunities through education and advocacy.