On a day that has already seen a historic win for our public lands, the news got even better when the House passed the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) this afternoon by a 310-107 vote.
The bill, which the Senate overwhelmingly passed back in June, now moves to the president’s desk.
This is a tremendous victory for public lands in Montana and across the country. Most notably, the bill will provide full, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), one of our nation’s most critical conservation programs. LWCF has been essential to hundreds of public lands projects across Montana, including the acquisition and development of numerous state parks, the construction and maintenance of public trail systems, and the development of boat ramps, campgrounds, and fishing access sites. The fund, which disburses royalties from offshore oil and gas drilling, has contributed over $600 million to Montana projects in its 55-year existence. The bill will also provide some $9 billion to address the maintenance backlog facing our national public lands.