The US Senate Passes Historic Conservation Bill, The Great American Outdoors Act

June 17, 2020 Updated: June 17, 2020

The U.S. Senate passed Sen. Cory Gardner’s (R-Colo.) bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act, 73–25, making a historic investment into conservation.

“Years of bipartisan work have led to this moment and this historic opportunity for conservation,” said Senator Gardner. “Today the Senate passed not only the single greatest conservation achievement in generations, but also a lifeline to mountain towns and recreation communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“I call on the House of Representatives to pass this bill without delay in order to provide jobs to the American people, economic stimulus to communities in need, and protections for the great American outdoors for future generations of Americans to cherish,” said Gardner.

Gardner urged his House colleagues to take up the bill, before a guaranteed signature by President Trump.

“I am calling on Congress to send me a Bill that fully and permanently funds the LWCF and restores our National Parks. When I sign it into law, it will be HISTORIC for our beautiful public lands,” President Trump said in March.

Many outdoor recreational organizations praised the passage of the Great Outdoor Act and also pushed for a vote in the House.

“The Great American Outdoors Act just passed the Senate! Now, wildlife needs your help: Ask your representative to pass the bill in the House of Representatives today,” posted the Wildlife Action Fund.

An advocacy group for the Adirondack Park, the Adirondack Council said Wednesday, “A bit of good news today! The Great American Outdoors Act was passed, with annual funding up to $2.8 billion allocated to wildlands, recreation, restoration, and public green spaces.”

Congressman Brian Mast (R-Fla.), a co-sponsor of the House version of the bill, called on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to bring the House of Representatives back into session to pass the Great American Outdoors Act as soon as possible.

“Speaker Pelosi should immediately call the House back into session so we can pass this critical bill ASAP!” Rep. Mast said.

Mast said the bill is critical to Florida’s economic health. He highlighted the fact that, if passed by the House, it would support a $58 billion industry and 485,000 direct jobs.

The bill will fully and indefinitely fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) as well as invest billions of dollars into national parks and public lands.