The U.S. House of Representatives took a historic vote on July 22 when it approved the Great American Outdoors Act, a bill that will invest in priority repairs at National Park Service (NPS) sites in Wisconsin and across the country. From the Ice Age Trail National Scenic Trail to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, needed repairs in Wisconsin’s NPS sites total $21.9 million, just part of the multi-billion maintenance backlog threatening park resources and local economies.
The Senate passed the legislation by an overwhelming bipartisan vote in June. The bill will also address repairs on other public lands and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, an important tool that preserves access to public lands and provides resources to urban and rural communities for recreation facilities. Funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund has played, and will continue to play, a significant role in making land acquisition and protection possible all along the Ice Age Trail.
“The Ice Age Trail and national park sites in Wisconsin are seeing record visitation, but their infrastructure is aging and needs repair,” said Mike Wollmer, Executive Director of the Ice Age Trail Alliance. “The bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act will address the most critical maintenance needs of our national parks and invest in conservation which is good for our economy, job creation, and preserving these treasurers for years to come.”
The legislation is the most significant investment in almost 65 years for national parks and public lands. Equally important, it will help our local community and businesses get back on their feet and will generate more jobs. According to the National Park Service, in 2019 alone, visitors to Wisconsin’s national parks, including the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, spent $52 million in local economies.
Parks and Ice Age Trail tourism contributes over $41.7 billion to the national economy annually and supports over 340,000 jobs. This legislation has the backing of more than 900 organizations including local towns and cities, the recreation industry, veterans’ groups, hotel and lodging, infrastructure associations, preservation groups, hunters and anglers, conservation organizations, and local businesses.
Your Voice Matters!
Be sure to reach out to your State Representative to thank them for supporting the GAOA! Click the map below to find the representative in your district or find your State Representative in the list to the right.
Who to Contact (and how they voted):
1st District: Bryan Steil – R, (202) 225-3031, contact via email here. (NAY)
2nd District: Mark Pocan – D, (202) 225-2906, contact via email here. (YEA)
3rd District: Ron Kind – D, (202) 225-5506, contact via email here. (YEA)
4th District: Gwen Moore – D, (202) 225-4572, contact via email here. (YEA)
5th District: James F. Sensenbrenner – R, (202) 225-5101, contact via email here. (Did not vote)
6th District: Glenn Grothman – R, (202) 225-2476, contact via email here. (NAY)
7th District: Thomas Tiffany – R, (202) 225-3365, contact via email here. (NAY)
8th District: Mike Gallagher – R, (202) 225-5665, contact via email here. (YEA)
To view the roll call vote for Wisconsin or other states, go here, see the “All Votes” section; click on “All States”; and make your selection to view each state’s roll call list.
If you live outside of Wisconsin and like to advocate on behalf of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, you can find your U.S. House Representatives here.
Thank you for supporting the future of public lands across Wisconsin and the nation!
The Advocacy Team of the Ice Age Trail Alliance