The United States Senate Needs to Hear Your Voice for the Great American Outdoors Act

12ba567f-1e9c-4f1e-ae79-51e574670dab The Great American Outdoors Act was introduced last week as a package that includes the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Permanent Funding Act (S. 1081) and the Restore Our Parks Act (ROPA, S. 500). Both bills have been long-standing priorities for the Habitat Organization. If enacted, this package would provide a dramatic increase in funding to enhance public lands and create new public access for hunting, fishing and overall outdoor recreation. Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever and our members have waited a long time for these important bills to move – we’re now asking for your help to bring this entire package to the finish line. 
 
Pheasants Forever is requesting its members to contact their United States Senator and advocate for passing of the Great American Outdoors Act! Click here to find your Senator’s phone number or email.
 

Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act Background:

The Land and Water Conservation Fund was created by Congress in 1964 to safeguard natural areas, water resources and our cultural heritage, while providing recreation opportunities to all Americans. National parks as well as national wildlife refuges, national forests, rivers and lakes, community parks, trails, and ball fields in every one of our 50 states were set aside for Americans to enjoy thanks to federal funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The genesis behind funding sources for LWCF is quite simple: use revenues from the depletion of one natural resource - offshore oil and gas - to support the conservation of another precious resource - our land and water. The money is intended to protect national parks, areas around rivers and lakes, national forests, and national wildlife refuges from development, and to provide matching grants for state and local parks, as well as recreation projects. Since its inception, LWCF has grown and evolved to include grants for protection of working forests, wildlife habitat, critical drinking water supplies and disappearing battlefields, as well as increased use of easements. The Great American Outdoors Act will provide permanent, mandatory LWCF funding at the full authorized amount of $900M annually. 
 
Click here to learn what LWCF does in your state.
 

Restore Our Parks Act Background:

The Restore our Parks Act establishes much-needed, mandatory funding for National Park Service (NPS) deferred maintenance and has been expanded to include funding for deferred maintenance projects at the Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Education schools. The bill makes $1.9 billion available each year for agency maintenance projects ($9.5 billion total), with 70% allocated for NPS projects, 10% for Forest Service, 10% for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5% for Bureau of Land Management, and 5% for Bureau of Indian Education schools.
 

Collective Messaging to the Senate:

Dear Senator,

I’m contacting you today to request your support of the Great American Outdoors Act legislation that was recently introduced to the Senate. If enacted, this package would provide a dramatic increase in funding to enhance public lands and create new public access for hunting, fishing and overall outdoor recreation.

Support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and National Park Service is not something that should be taken lightly – iconic wildlife species, clean water, public access, and treasured recreational facilities depend on your backing of the Great American Outdoors Act.

On behalf of our nation’s outdoorsmen, outdoorswomen and future generations, thank you for supporting wildlife, clean water, and the cherished public lands which Americans covet each day across our country.

Sincerely,

“Your Name”
“City and State”