Fitzpatrick introduces bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act
U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) on June 4 unveiled bipartisan legislation to provide permanent, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the nation’s premier recreation and preservation support program.
“The Great American Outdoors Act would also address the $12 billion maintenance backlog in our national parks and public lands,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said. “Today, our national parks and public lands are in rough shape. This landmark legislation would preserve and protect our nation’s public lands for generations, and I am proud to support this legislation.”
Rep. Fitzpatrick is the lead original cosponsor of the Great American Outdoors Act, H.R. 7092, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC), to establish and fund a National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, which would address the maintenance backlog of the National Park Service, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, and the Bureau of Indian Education, according to the congressional record summary.
H.R. 7092 is companion legislation to the same-named S. 3422, introduced on March 9 by U.S. Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Joe Manchin (D-WV).
The LWCF, which is authorized by Congress and not funded by taxpayer dollars, is the only federal program dedicated to the ongoing conservation of America’s national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, battlefields, state and local parks, working forests, and critical wildlife areas. Congress in 2019 permanently reauthorized the LWCF.
“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,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “I am encouraged by the strong bipartisan support for permanent funding of the LWCF.”
Among the members who joined Rep. Fitzpatrick as a cosponsor of H.R. 7092 were U.S. Reps. John Katko (R-NY) and Steve Stivers (R-OH).