U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-1st dist.) joined colleagues in introducing H.R. 7092, the Great American Outdoors Act. This landmark legislation would fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and work to repair maintenance issues in national parks.

The LWCF is a recreation and preservation support program. It is the only federal program dedicated to the continued conservation of our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, Civil War battlefields, state and local parks, working forests and critical wildlife areas. This program is authorized by Congress. The LWCF is not funded by taxpayer dollars. Instead, it is supported entirely by a portion of oil and gas royalties.

“Since its establishment over 50 years ago, the LWCF has promoted recreational activity and contributed to our nation’s robust economy, along with conserving our national parks, forests and critical wildlife areas. This vital program benefits millions of Americans in innumerable ways, from promoting recreational activity to contributing to our nation’s robust economy, along with furthering environmental protection. Treasured public lands such as Nockamixon State Park, Tyler State Park, and cherished community venues such as Hatfield Community Park are all just a few of the examples of the beneficiaries of this valuable fund. I am encouraged by the strong bipartisan support for permanent funding of the LWCF,” Fitzpatrick said.

“The Great American Outdoors Act would also address the $12 billion maintenance backlog in our national parks and public lands. 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. This landmark legislation would preserve and protect our nation’s public lands for generations, and I am proud to support this legislation.”

In addition to funding the LWCF, the Great American Outdoors Act would provide funding to address the $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog at our national park sites throughout the country. Federal land management agencies are facing a deferred maintenance backlog. Public lands generate $18.2 billion of economic activity for gateway communities and support 306,000 jobs.

The legislation was introduced as companion legislation to S. 3422, the Great American Outdoors Act, which was introduced by Sens. Cory Gardner and Joe Manchin.