PennEnvironment Statement: U.S. House passes historic public lands bill to permanently fund Land and Water Conservation Fund
Philadelphia, PA – The U.S. House of Representatives voted today to pass the Great American Outdoors Act, a historic conservation bill that will permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million annually and provide $9.5 billion over five years to fix maintenance problems that are plaguing our public lands in Pennsylvania and across the nation. With a final vote of 310-107, and having already passed the U.S. Senate, the bill garnered considerable bipartisan support in the House and now heads to the President’s desk.
The majority of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation voted in support of the Great American Outdoors Act.
Alongside other environmental organizations, hunting and fishing groups, outdoor recreation businesses and more, PennEnvironment has worked to build support for permanently fund LWCF ,for numerous years, including running billboard advertisements, getting thousands of Pennsylvanians to write and call their congressperson in support of LWCF, a steady series of op-eds, and an ongoing presence on Capitol Hill and in congressional districts.
In response to the House’s vote, PennEnvironment’s Conservation Advocate, Stephanie Wein, released the following statement:
“The Great American Outdoors Act embraces what we all know to be true: protecting and enhancing our public lands is an essential part of the American ethos. By locking in $900 million a year for outdoor projects, plus providing a short-term infusion of money to address maintenance issues, the U.S. House is reaffirming that commitment to the natural world.
“From neighborhood playgrounds and ballfields to Valley Forge and the Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvanians love and enjoy our public lands. This bill is not only an investment in our natural resources, but also in our health and well-being.
“With today’s passage of this bill, we’re one step away from putting a lock and key on funding that has always been intended for conservation projects -- yet consistently diverted to other purposes. We’re closer to adopting a new set of priorities for today’s world -- that our lives are made richer if surrounded by more nature, rather than more extracted resources.
“PennEnvironment applauds the House’s bipartisan passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, and asks that President Trump sign this important bill.”
PennEnvironment is dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help the public make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives. For more information, visit www.PennEnvironment.org.