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Bonamici Helps Pass Permanent Funding, Protection for Natural Areas

July 23, 2020
Press Release
Great American Outdoors Act Will Also Restore National Parks

WASHINGTON, DC [07/23/20] – Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) spoke on the House Floor to applaud the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, which provides permanent, full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to address the $22 billion backlog of deferred maintenance on public lands and National Parks.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund represents a bipartisan commitment to safeguarding natural areas and providing recreation opportunities in the prized outdoor areas that make places in Northwest Oregon like Ecola State Park and the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge so special,” Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici said on the House floor. “The Great American Outdoors Act will help mitigate the climate crisis and protect the natural beauty and robust habitats that fish and wildlife depend on for survival. And at a time when our communities are struggling and there is heightened awareness about inequities and injustices in our society— including inequitable access to our wild places—this bill will boost rural economies and expand access to public lands for future generations.”

The full video of Bonamici’s remarks can be viewed here.

“Land Trusts across Oregon are celebrating the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act in the US House of Representatives," said Kelley Beamer, executive director for the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts (COLT). “There is a long list of incredible conservation opportunities in Oregon that will benefit from full funding for LWCF including the protection of a working forest and watershed on the North Coast. Full funding will give Oregonians more of what they are clamoring for: outdoor spaces that provide health and solace.”

“The Great American Outdoors Act represents a monumental conservation victory for Oregonians and communities throughout the country,” said Jim Desmond, Oregon State Director of The Nature Conservancy. “This significant investment in nature and public lands and the resulting job creation is really an investment in our communities, our economy, and our future. Permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund will only build on the legacy of protecting treasured natural spaces throughout Oregon. And, more importantly, this act will invest in increasing access to nature for marginalized communities and people of color in Oregon. We are grateful to our congressional delegation for helping deliver such a phenomenal outcome for the country and nature.”

Since 1965, the LWCF has conserved public lands and waters across the country and supported the $887 billion outdoor recreation economy. Bonamici helped pass a historic lands package last year to permanently authorize LWCF at $900 million annually.

Bonamici, a long-time advocate for the preservation and expansion of public lands and the only member of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis from the Pacific Northwest, recently joined her colleagues in releasing a Climate Action Plan that calls for protecting at least 30 percent of all U.S. lands and ocean by 2030 and full and permanent funding for the LWCF.