LANGHORNE, PA—Today, July 10th, 2020, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) released the following statement on the Problem Solvers Caucus endorsing the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act:
“I am happy to see the Problem Solvers endorse the Great American Outdoors Act. This bipartisan, bicameral, and landmark legislation will permanently preserve and protect our vital public lands. This bill would fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and work to repair maintenance issues in our national parks. This common-sense legislation is long overdue and will help meet the ever growing demand of families and travelers looking to explore our beautiful parks and lands. Since its establishment over 50 years ago, the LWCF has promoted recreational activity, while also conserving our national parks, forests, and critical wildlife areas, and boosting our economy. In my community, treasured public lands such as Nockamixon State Park, Tyler State Park, and cherished venues such as Hatfield Community Park are all just a few of the examples of the beneficiaries of this valuable fund. Today, our national parks and public lands are in rough shape. Families who travel to our public lands are often met by roads, picnic areas, trails, campgrounds, and visitor centers that are damaged, run-down, or closed. The tourism experience has deteriorated, and it is a detriment to our economy. The Great American Outdoors Act would address the $12 billion maintenance backlog in our national parks and public lands. Our parks and public lands contribute to a thriving outdoor recreation economy. This backlog endangers some of our country’s most iconic landmarks, and we cannot delay supporting them any longer. This landmark legislation would preserve and protect our nation’s public lands for generations, and I am proud to support this legislation.”
Fitzpatrick has long championed for permanently funding the LWCF and protecting public lands. In September of 2018, Fitzpatrick spoke on the House floor calling on Congress to permanently reauthorize the LWCF. In November of 2018, Fitzpatrick joined a bipartisan and bicameral group of Members of Congress in a rally on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, joining conservation leaders and outdoor recreation advocates. In June of 2019, Fitzpatrick joined a bipartisan coalition of Members of the House of Representatives in introducing the Land and Water Conversation Fund Permanent Funding Act. In December of 2019, Fitzpatrick and Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02) wrote an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer that lawmakers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey must prioritize protecting national parks. In May of 2020, Fitzpatrick joined over 100 legislators to request strong funding in future COVID-19 economic relief legislation for federal programs that serve as the foundation of the outdoor recreation, a critical sector that provides jobs and economic support to communities across the country.
Read the Problem Solvers Caucus statement on the Great American Outdoors Act, here.
Read the text of H.R. 7092, the Great American Outdoors Act, here.