Senate Bill Championed by Senators Collins and King
NRCM news release
June 17, 2020 (Augusta, ME) – The United States Senate today overwhelmingly passed the Great American Outdoors Act to expand access to the outdoors and support Maine’s recreation economy. The bill, which was championed by Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, will fully and permanently fund the popular and effective Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and provide additional funding to invest in the upkeep of national parks and protected lands. The U.S. House of Representatives is now expected to debate a bipartisan companion bill that is co-sponsored by Maine Congressman Jared Golden and supported by Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, both of whom have long called for permanent LWCF funding.
The Natural Resources Council of Maine issued the following statement from Forests & Wildlife Director Melanie Sturm in response to today’s vote in the Senate:
“Investing in public lands is a smart investment in our future that will enhance the health of Maine people and support Maine’s recreation-based businesses. The bipartisan support of the Great American Outdoors Act could not have come at a more critical time with climate change, racial inequality, and a public health crisis all pointing to the critical importance of outdoor spaces that are safe and accessible for everyone to enjoy.
Fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund will result in much-needed land conservation, public access improvements, and hopefully the creation of more outdoor spaces that benefit all walks of life and support a vibrant recreation-based economy.
Today’s vote demonstrates that investing in our land, air, and water has social and economic benefits that go beyond ecological goals. We are grateful to Senators Collins and King for championing expanded access to the outdoors and a stronger outdoor economy that will create jobs and support Maine’s communities.”
To learn more about why fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund is so important to Maine’s future visit www.lwcfcoalition.org.