Trump signs Great American Outdoors Act
President Donald Trump today signed H.R. 1957, the Great American Outdoors Act, which establishes the National Park and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund and provides permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt participated in a White House briefing call on the law.
Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Hoeven, R-N.D., who was at the White House for the bill signing, noted that the bill includes the Restore Our Parks Act, legislation Hoeven co-sponsored and helped introduce to address deferred maintenance needs at National Park Service (NPS) facilities.
“The Restore Our Parks Act provides critical support to our national parks and will help to ensure these facilities can continue to safely serve visitors for years to come,” said Hoeven. “That is not only important for the preservation of our history and landscapes, but it will also strengthen our parks’ contributions to local economies across the country, just as the Theodore Roosevelt National Park does in North Dakota.”
Specifically, Hoeven noted, the law will create a National Park and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund using excess revenue from on and offshore energy production on federal lands. This would provide up to $1.9 billion per year for facilities and projects under the NPS, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Education.
Seventy percent of these funds would be dedicated to the NPS and would help address the agency’s maintenance backlog, including about $50 million of deferred maintenance in North Dakota, consisting mostly of road repairs. These revenues already accrue to the federal government, and accordingly, the legislation requires no new taxes and would not impact mineral and energy revenues that go to the states.
–The Hagstrom Report
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the June 19, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News