America’s forests are languishing under a huge funding shortfall. Millions of acres of forestland don’t have the protection they need, which jeopardizes the clean water, carbon storage and outdoor recreation they provide for all Americans.
Each year, forests in national parks, on private property and elsewhere are promised $900 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The funding is used to create trails, implement climate-smart forestry practices, and more—all to ensure that the country’s natural heritage is protected now and for future generations.
But in recent decades, $20 billion of this money — which comes from offshore drilling revenues, not taxpayers — has been diverted away from its intended purpose.
Now, a bipartisan bill aims to provide full, dedicated funding to the LWCF. The new bill, called the Great American Outdoors Act, would not only ensure that the fund gets the full $900 million it’s promised annually, but would also provide $6 billion to address the maintenance backlog in America’s national parks and forests as well as other public land.
This bill is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect and restore America’s precious natural landscapes. For more than 50 years, we have worked to advance this bill. We are closer than ever to getting it passed. The Senate voted for this legislation in June. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on it on July 22. To get this across the finish line, can you call or email your representative in the House and ask them to support the Great American Outdoors Act?