Biggest Conservation Win for Public Lands in Decades
A national coalition that included thousands of our supporters secured the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. The bill is now on its way to be signed into law by the president.
The Act passed the Senate in bipartisan, 73-25 vote. Senator Alexander of our great state of Tennessee, an original cosponsor of the bill, voted for it. We are disappointed that Senator Blackburn voted against this historic bill that will help both our natural resources and rural Tennessee economies.
In the House, the Act passed with another bipartisan vote—310-107. All congressmen from Tennessee voted in favor of the bill.
“Our organization and supporters fought hard for this win,” said Michael Butler, CEO of Tennessee Wildlife Federation. “Senator Alexander’s leadership and support on this bill cannot be understated. It is fitting that this landmark piece of legislation has passed. He has fought tirelessly for the cause of conservation for decades, and he will be greatly missed when he retires from the Senate. Tennesseans will have to speak out even more if we want to see victories like this again in the future.”
This win puts us one giant step closer to fixing the national parks’ massive maintenance backlog. It provides five years of funding, up to a total of $9.5 BILLION, for that exact purpose. We’ll see habitats restored, trails maintained, and historic sites preserved.
But the Great American Outdoors Act does so much more. It also provides (finally!) full and dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. At $900 million every year, this will expand recreation opportunities, conserve wildlife, and create jobs.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund was created in 1964, but has only been fully funded twice. Still, it has done incredible things for Tennessee. And with this funding, it will again!
Photo credit: Josh Tullock