U.S. Senate passes historic conservation legislation

With all that is occurring in our world, we could all use a bit of good news these days. Today, we received some courtesy of the U.S. Senate.

By Andrew Bowman June 17, 2020
United States Capitol building with cherry trees in front

In a historic 73-25 bipartisan vote, the Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act — bringing us one step closer to finally providing full and dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The Land Trust Alliance and our partners in the LWCF Coalition applaud the Senate for this important action. Since its establishment in 1964, LWCF has supported over 41,000 state and local park projects, contributing $778 billion to the nation's economy annually and providing 5.2 million sustainable jobs nationwide. Yet it has only been fully funded once in its history. Today's vote will lead to the conservation of local, state and national treasures, providing more Americans with access to the outdoors while contributing more to the nation's economy and securing more jobs. It is therefore not only historically significant, but incredibly important as people seek these lands for respite and recreation and as our country fights to restore our economy and get people back to work.

Please take a moment to thank members of the Senate who voted in favor of this landmark legislation. Acknowledge the importance of funding our parks, public lands and outdoor recreation infrastructure during this critical time in our nation's history. Passing this bill will ensure this critical program continues to protect our natural infrastructure and the lands we hold so dear.

And to those in our community who worked so tirelessly to get us to this point, know that the Alliance is committed to working beside you to get this legislation across the finish line.

We must now turn our focus to the U.S. House of Representatives, which is expected to take up the bill the week of June 29 for final passage. It's time to finish the job by calling and emailing your representative and urging them to vote "yea" on the Great American Outdoors Act. To find your representative, click here.

Passing the Great American Outdoors Act is not only a historic event. It's a chance to strengthen conservation, restore our economy, create much needed jobs and, in general, brighten the health and well-being of this great land. The time to get it done is now.

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