BOULDER, Colo. – Today is the one-year anniversary of the bipartisan “Great American Outdoors Act” being signed into law, which authorized $900 million in annual funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and is designed to address the nearly $20 billion deferred maintenance backlog on federal public lands. The outdoor industry played a pivotal role in ensuring the historic bill was passed by Congress, and its successful implementation is a continued priority for Outdoor Industry Association and its more than 1,200 member businesses and organizations.
“The Great American Outdoors Act is laying the groundwork for a historic investment in the parks and outdoor spaces, which provides countless economic, physical, and mental health benefits to people across the country,” said OIA executive director Lise Aangeenbrug. “We are encouraged to see the law already leading to new outdoor recreation projects and public land improvements. We are committed to helping the Biden administration and Congress in their efforts to fully implement the law and help realize its economic and environmental benefits.
“One way to help achieve this goal is through a 21st Century Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) to address the federal park maintenance backlog, conduct new LWCF projects, and protect communities against droughts, wildfires, and floods. The CCC, which is currently being discussed in Congress, would also create thousands of new, well-paying jobs to boost the economic recovery.
“Additionally, more people than ever before are visiting parks and other public lands, including more women, people of diverse ethnicities, and those living in urban areas. It is critically important to continue making these investments to ensure these public lands and waterways remain accessible to all, regardless of zip code.
“As Congress and the Biden administration continue to work on additional conservation and climate legislation, we hope GAOA can provide lessons for how to create and enact new and effective laws to protect the outdoors and increase access to these amazing natural resources.”
About the Outdoor Industry Association
Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry. OIA unites and serves 1,200 manufacturer, supplier, sales representative and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy, sustainable business innovation and outdoor participation. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org.