America’s public lands received its greatest boost in decades this morning when President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law. This historic Act will provide billions of dollars for public lands projects ranging from landscape preservation to infrastructure improvements.
“The Great American Outdoors Act is one of the most important packages of conservation legislation we’ve seen in decades,” said Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.). “This bipartisan bill will support significant improvements to Missouri’s rich array of public lands and national parks, which will enhance the visitor experience and boost the tourism and recreation industries. The bill also provides permanent funding for the Land and Wildlife Conservation Fund, which protects historical and environmentally-significant sites. In our state, the LWCF has historically benefited the Mark Twain National Forest, the Ozark National Scenic River, the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, and Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. As an original cosponsor of this bill, I’m glad Congress and the Trump administration were able to come together to get this landmark legislation signed into law.”
The Great American Outdoors Act provides full, permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and creates a Restoration Fund to address the deferred maintenance needs of federal public lands. Funding LWCF at its fully authorized level — $900 million a year — will double what was available in 2019 for states, municipalities and the federal government to conserve land for recreation and wildlife habitats.
The Restoration Fund will make available $9.5 billion over five years, with $6 billion slated for National Park System units, about $1.4 billion slated for National Forest System units, and $475 million for National Wildlife Refuges.
According to the Outdoor Industry Association, in a normal year outdoor recreation generates $14.9 billion in consumer spending, supports 133,000 jobs across the state, and produces $889 million annually in state and local tax revenue.