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The Corps Network Applauds Passage of Great American Outdoors Act
Historic legislation will help repair and maintain our public lands, create opportunities to put people to work in the great outdoors.
Washington, DC – The Corps Network, the national association of Service and Conservation Corps, applauds passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) in the United States House of Representatives today, July 22, 2020, and looks forward to this historic legislation soon being signed into law. The Corps Network extends appreciation to the many champions of the GAOA in the United States House and Senate.
“The Great American Outdoors Act is one of the most significant pieces of legislation to affect our public lands in decades and will have both an immediate and lasting impact. Not only will this legislation help restore our lands and waters for generations to enjoy; completing maintenance and improvement projects in the outdoors can help put thousands of people to work and create more spaces for Americans to get outside and recreate safely. Thank you to the many champions of this legislation. The Corps community stands ready to help our federal, state, and local resource management agencies address the maintenance backlog and advance our country’s priorities in the great outdoors.”
Among other provisions, the GAOA will establish the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, which will invest up to $1.9 billion annually over the next five years in addressing deferred maintenance on lands managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Education.
The bill also permanently dedicates $900 million per year to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Created by Congress in 1964, the LWCF uses revenue from resource extraction to fund the conservation of natural and cultural heritage sites and expand recreation access across the country.
Investments in the LWCF and the new National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund could create opportunities for resource management agencies to engage Service and Conservation Corps in completing maintenance and improvement projects.
The GAOA was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and in the U.S. House by Representatives by Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC). The bill passed in the U.S. Senate on June 17 with a bipartisan vote of 73–25.
About The Corps Network
The Corps Network, the national association of Service and Conservation Corps, provides leadership and support to over 130 Corps across the United States. Through advocacy, and providing Corps access to funding opportunities and expert guidance, The Corps Network annually enables more than 22,000 Corpsmembers to strengthen communities, improve the environment and transform their lives through service. To learn more about The Corps Network, please visit www.corpsnetwork.org.
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