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Trump signs Great American Outdoors Act!

Jack Danchak - Columnist
Posted 9/3/20

President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, recently signed into law the Great American Outdoors Act. This legislation calls for improvements to public lands, stabilize funding for the Land and …

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Trump signs Great American Outdoors Act!

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President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, recently signed into law the Great American Outdoors Act. This legislation calls for improvements to public lands, stabilize funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and provide economic relief to help start the economy.

This conservation bill cleared the U.S. House of Representatives after passing the U.S. Senate and was signed into law by the president this August. The bill will fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million annually, ensuring all funding is directed to its intended purpose of state and federal conservation projects.

This money will help boost America's outdoor recreation industry, which generates $887 billion annually and supports 7.6 million American jobs.

Immediately following the signing of this bill, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced that entrance fees paid by visitors coming to lands managed by the Department of Interior were to be waived. He then declared that in the future August 4 will be designated as the “Great American Outdoors Day,” a free-fee day each year to commemorate the signing of the Act.

Entrance fees will be waived at all fee collecting public lands at the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The department holds free-fee days throughout the year to encourage visitation and appreciation for America's public lands, and has added the Great American Outdoors Day to the list.

The legislation creates a National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to address the growing maintenance backlog on federal public lands. Half of the revenue from energy development on public lands would be allocated to the fund and distributed to the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Education to cover overdue maintenance costs.

Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam said, “The Truly bipartisan nature of this bill is commendable, and the President's signature puts the finishing touches on what will go down as one of the great conservation achievements of our lifetime. Now that it is the law of the land, we look forward to working with our partners at federal and state agencies, and in the conservation community, to help deliver this law's ambitious promises to improve the American landscape for generations to come.”

This is just one more example of President Trump's accomplishments.

Wishing everyone an enjoyable and safe Labor Day Weekend!

Jack Danchak is the President of the Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs of Sullivan County.

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