On Wednesday, June 17, 2020, the United States Senate voted 73-25 to pass the Great American Outdoors Act to permanently and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and make a substantial investment in addressing the deferred maintenance backlog on our public lands.
The passage of this bill will help address priority repairs in our national parks and on other public lands by directing up to $9.5 billion over five years to address maintenance needs within the National Park System and other public land agencies. It will also fully and permanently dedicate $900 million per year already being deposited into the LWCF, our nation’s most important conservation program for land, water, and recreation areas for all Americans.
This is a historic vote: never before has the Senate voted to fully support LWCF through dedicated funding!
This vote is good news for land trusts like the Ice Age Trail Alliance: LWCF has played an important role in the Alliance’s ability to protect the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. During the past decade over $18 million of LWCF money has been matched by $22 million of Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund and local money to preserve 57 additional miles of the Ice Age Trail.
One such example is Swamplover’s, a well-loved property along the Table Bluff Segment, known for its impeccable native prairie restoration, substantial burr oaks, and expansive views.
Here’s the Senate roll call list for this historic vote.
Be sure to thank Senator Tammy Baldwin for her support in passing the Great American Outdoors Act!