For Immediate Release: Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Kate Breimann, Environment Maryland State Director, 276-229-9108, firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Blackledge, Environment America Conservation Program Dir., 916-952-3224, email@example.com
Josh Chetwynd, Communications Manager, 303-573-5558, firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement: U.S. House passes major public lands bill
The landmark Great American Outdoors Act now heads to the White House
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to pass the Great American Outdoors Act, a bill to 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 America’s public lands. With a final vote of 310 - 107, the bill garnered considerable bipartisan support, and now heads to the President’s desk.
Alongside other environmental organizations, hunting and fishing groups, outdoor recreation businesses and more, Environment America has prioritized the LWCF, America’s best conservation and recreation program, for years. Utilizing billboards in several states; lawn signs and banners; a steady series of op-eds; and a continual presence on Capitol Hill and in congressional districts, we have urged lawmakers to invest in America’s great outdoors.
Environment Maryland met with Representatives back in March to discuss the bill and to urge cosponsorship, and hosted a virtual rally in support of the bill with Representatives, Senators and advocates from across the country. The LWCF supports a number of parks and public spaces in Maryland, from Assateague Island National Seashore to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.
Environment Maryland State Director, Kate Breimann, issued the following statement:
"The Great American Outdoors Act is a critical step in protecting the places we love most, and the public lands that define our state. This bill secures the full $900 million annual funding intended for the Land and Water Conservation fund, so we can rest assured that our most special places are protected for generations to come. From small neighborhood parks and ball fields to Assateague Island National Seashore and Deep Creek Lake State Park, the LWCF ensures Marylanders have ample opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.This critical investment in our natural world is certainly a step in the right direction towards prioritizing our planet and protecting our resources.
This bipartisan victory shows that Americans are united in the commitment to protecting our public lands and open spaces. We’re grateful for Representative Hoyer’s continued leadership on this issue, and to Representatives Brown, Mfume, Raskin, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes and Trone for cosponsoring this critical legislation.”
We applaud the House’s bipartisan passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, and ask that President Trump sign this important bill.”
Environment Maryland is a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization. We work to protect clean air, clean water, and open space. We have thousands of members across the state and are based in Baltimore.