President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law after it passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a 310-107 vote. The new act ensures a steady stream of funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund which helps to pay for outdoor recreation projects for lakes, streams and waterways and helps get people into the wild and on vacation.
The law will appropriate around $900 million per year, which is about twice the allotment the fund currently gets. The new act creates the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund which will begin to tackle the estimated $11-20 billion backlog of maintenance projects at some of the 400 national parks and other federal properties.
Fifty percent of the money to fund the project will come from the oil, gas, coal, and alternative energy sources developed on federal property, up to $1.9 billion a year.
The Great American Outdoors Act will expand recreational opportunities, create additional hunting and fishing access points, boost tourism and the outdoor recreation economy, and create an estimated 100,000 new job opportunities. Supporters of the legislation say it is the most important legislation enacted in almost 50 years.