PORTLAND – President Trump today signed the Great American Outdoors Act, which 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 plaguing America’s public lands.
Environment America (of which Environment Oregon is part) has prioritized LWCF, America’s best conservation and recreation program, for years. To urge lawmakers to invest in America’s great outdoors, the organization has passed out LWCF face masks to lawmakers; created lawn signs and banners; written a steady series of op-eds; and served as a continual presence on Capitol Hill and in congressional districts.
In response to the president signing the bill into law, Environment Oregon’s State Director Celeste Meiffren-Swango released the following statement:
“The Great American Outdoors Act is now law, and that’s no small accomplishment. There’s finally a lock and key on money that was always intended for conservation projects -- yet, for decades, has been consistently diverted to other purposes.
“This new law is not only a major investment in outdoor spaces but also in every American’s physical and mental health. It’s a decisive step toward acknowledging that our lives are made richer if surrounded by more nature, more open spaces, whether it’s a local park or the Grand Canyon.
“We want to give a heartfelt thank you to Oregon’s entire Congressional delegation for voting for the Great American Outdoors Act and supporting Oregon’s treasured places including Mt Hood National Forest, the Oregon Dunes, Three Sisters Wilderness, Cascade Siskiyou National Monument and so much more.
“We hope Congress can remain clear-eyed about what’s needed after this historic moment. From embracing wildlife corridors to protecting 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030, there’s so much more to do. But for the moment, we’re thrilled to have achieved a bipartisan win for the great outdoors during these deeply partisan times.”