Sportsmen Groups Applaud Great American Outdoors Act Passage
By Chris Eger
America’s hunters, anglers, and target shooters chip in a whopping $119 billion annually to the U.S. economy, directly supporting over 1.6 million jobs (Photo: Ruger)
The Great American Outdoors Act last week passed the U.S. Senate in a bipartisan 73-25 vote to the acclaim of hunting, fishing, and shooting sports groups.
The measure, introduced by U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to address a tremendous 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, and other outdoor activities.
“Years of bipartisan work have led to this moment and this historic opportunity for conservation,” said Gardner in a statement. “Today the Senate passed not only the single greatest conservation achievement in generations but also a lifeline to mountain towns and recreation communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The measure 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– 70 percent– would go to the National Park Service with smaller amounts