Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik voted today in favor of the Great American Outdoors Act, bipartisan legislation that she cosponsored in the House. This legislation is comprised of two bills, the Restore Our Parks Act and the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The bill establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to support deferred maintenance projects on federal lands. For FY2021-FY2025, there shall be deposited into the fund an amount equal to 50% of all federal revenues from the development of oil, gas, coal, or alternative or renewable energy on federal lands and waters. Additionally, the bill makes funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) permanent. The bill passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support last month.
“Our natural resources, national parks, and public lands are essential components of the American natural and cultural landscape, and conservation values are of the utmost importance in the North Country,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “I am a longtime supporter of the Restore Our Parks Act, which addresses the deferred maintenance backlog on public lands, and of full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, as I have seen the positive impact the funding has on conservation projects in my district. Our natural areas and public lands also serve as a powerful economic driver, especially in the Adirondacks, where we recreate in the outdoors year-round. This legislation is critically needed in order to address the infrastructure improvements needed at many of our National Parks, protect our natural resources, and ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors just like we do. In addition, the legislation will help create jobs, bolster local economies, and expand access to the outdoors at a time when workers and families are still reeling from the health and economic consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. I am excited to see this bipartisan bill head to the President’s desk for his signature, and I will continue to advocate for legislation that protects our North Country natural resources.”
“Investing in our parks, beaches, and trails through a permanently and fully funded Land and Water Conservation Fund will expand access to natural areas like the Adirondack Mountains,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “It will also provide economic stimulus to the outdoor recreation businesses that support them, which will help create the jobs and tax revenue that are critical to our economic recovery. That's why the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been one of NYLCV's top priorities for years. We thank the House of Representatives for passing the Great American Outdoors Act and Congresswoman Stefanik for her support of this important conservation issue."
"Today is a great day for all of us who love the outdoors," said ConservAmerica President Jeff Kupfer. “Access to and enjoyment of our public lands is more important than ever. We applaud the members of Congress who are supporting this effort.”