House Bill Sponsored by Congressman Golden and championed by Congresswoman Pingree
NRCM news release
July 22, 2020 (Augusta, ME) – The United States House of Representatives today overwhelmingly passed the Great American Outdoors Act to expand access to the outdoors and support Maine’s recreation economy.
The bill, which was sponsored by Congressman Jared Golden and championed by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, 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 Natural Resources Council of Maine issued the following statement from Forests & Wildlife Director Melanie Sturm in response to today’s vote:
“The bipartisan support of the Great American Outdoors Act shows that as we recover and rebuild, solutions that are good for our environment are also good for our economy.
“Fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LCWF) will result in much-needed land conservation, public access improvements, local industry support, and hopefully the creation of more outdoor spaces that benefit all walks of life and contribute to a vibrant economy. To access the LWCF funds that will be allocated to Maine, we need to reinvest in the state’s Land for Maine’s Future program in order to meet the state and local match requirements to use federal LWCF funds.
“Maine’s stunning public lands are part of what defines Maine’s identity, providing space for recreation and enjoyment while also supporting our state’s natural resource-based economies, like working forests and working waterfronts. We are grateful to Congresswoman Pingree and Congressman Golden for championing expanded access to the outdoors and a stronger natural resource-based economy that will create jobs and support Maine’s communities.”
Senators Susan Collins and Angus King both voted to support the Great American Outdoors Act when it passed the U.S. Senate on June 17, 2020. To learn more about why fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund is so important to Maine’s future visit: www.lwcfcoalition.com.