Great American Outdoors Act Sent to President Trump
By Chris Eger
The Great American Outdoors Act aims to support access to public lands for purposes to include hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting. (Photo: Ruger)
Conservation, sportsmen, and pro-hunting groups cheered the passing of the Great American Outdoors Act by Congress on Wednesday.
The bill was a rare act of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill. Introduced by U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., in March, it passed the Republican-controlled Senate 73-25 last month then was greenlighted 310–107 this week by the Democrat-controlled U.S. House, sending it to President Donald Trump for signature.
The measure establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to address a growing backlog of deferred maintenance projects on federal lands. The funds allocated under the bill would help maintain access to public lands, specifically those in line with “hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, or other outdoor recreational purposes.”
The bill is paid for through fees from federal offshore oil and gas leases over a five-year period, not taxpayer dollars, and stands to amount to upwards of $9.5 billion. The bulk of the money would go to the National Park Service with smaller amounts to the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service. It is estimated by the