Victory for West Virginia’s Public Lands and Waters

Bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act Approved by Congress!

by West Virginia Rivers Coalition

On July 22, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in favor of the Great American Outdoors Act on a 310-to-107 margin. Not only will our public lands and waters get the funding they deserve, the Great American Outdoors Act demonstrates the power of our wild places in bringing our nation together. Now, the Great American Outdoors Act heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Read more about the Act’s path through Congress. 

What makes this victory all the more sweet is the key leadership provided by West Virginia’s Senators. 

Our own Senator Manchin acted as lead sponsor of the bill, and his unwavering dedication to public lands played a key role in moving the bill forward. Senator Capito signed on as a co-sponsor and championed the Act among her Republican colleagues.  

In the House, all three of West Virginia’s Representatives co-sponsored the legislation, but at the final vote, only Rep. Miller voted in favor of the bill. 

Join us in thanking Senator Manchin, Senator Capito and Representative Miller for their leadership and support of the Great American Outdoors Act!

What does the Great American Outdoors Act do? The Act allocates $900 million each year to the Land and Water Conservation Fund to support the development of recreation and conservation projects on our public lands. LWCF is essential to West Virginia’s outdoor recreation economy, to date, LWCF has provided over $241 million to support over 500 projects in West Virginia!

The Great American Outdoors Act also begins to address the maintenance backlog that is plaguing our public lands. Providing up to $9.5 billion over five years for much needed maintenance and repairs. 

Permanent renewal and full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund have long been priorities for WV Rivers and West Virginians for Public Lands Alliance. Over the years, thousands of West Virginians, and those who love our public lands, called on our Congressional Delegation to make public lands a priority. Today, we are seeing the results of those efforts! If you ever signed a public lands postcard or responded to an action alert – YOU are the reason we’re celebrating this victory today, thank you! 

Updated: July 30, 2020 — 12:00 pm

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