Conservation has just won a major victory.
It just happened with signing of the Great American Outdoors Act.
See what President Trump’s signing of the GAOA offers the outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen.
What is the GAOA anyway? Well here is the summary straight from the CONGRESS.GOV website:
Great American Outdoors Act
This bill establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to support deferred maintenance projects on federal lands.
For FY2021-FY2025, there shall be deposited into the fund an amount equal to 50% of all federal revenues from the development of oil, gas, coal, or alternative or renewable energy on federal lands and waters. Deposited amounts must not exceed $1.9 billion for any fiscal year.
The fund must be used for priority deferred maintenance projects in specified systems that are administered by
- the National Park Service,
- the Forest Service,
- the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
- the Bureau of Land Management, and
- the Bureau of Indian Education.
The Government Accountability Office must report on the effect of the fund in reducing the backlog of priority deferred maintenance projects for the specified agencies.
Additionally, the bill makes funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) permanent. The President shall annually report to Congress specified details regarding the allocation of funds to the LWCF. Congress may provide for alternate allocations using specified procedures.
What this means is the cash is there and it should be put back where it literally came from, public land. Also what it means is better accessibility of public land including the privately landlocked parcels.
This bipartisan legislation has gained support among a handful of conservation groups and outdoor brands. Missoula, Montana-based company, onXmaps, has been a leader among the outdoor community in advocating for policy change. The tech company has prioritized the preservation of our nation’s public lands. What is onX you ask? Well Founded in 2009, onX’s maps encompass 985 million acres of public land and more than 121 million private properties. Hunters and outdoorsmen are able to use their mobile phones as a GPS, tracking their movements, delving through different topographic maps with unique applications for hunting, fishing, hiking, off-roading, and more. Here is a quote from onX’s founder, Eric Siegfried:
“We’ve learned a lot about access challenges over the life of our company. There are a mountain of access challenges out there, and never even close to enough resources to make meaningful improvements. So, I’m thrilled to see the GAOA get passed and excited for what this means to those who currently enjoy our open spaces and for the coming generations of outdoor explorers. The LWCF was the policy solution that we and TRCP were advocating for in our 2018 federal landlocked report, Off Limits, But Within Reach: Unlocking the West’s Inaccessible Public Lands. Bipartisan legislation like this is crucial for protecting the future of our public lands.”
With the signing of the act conservation now has stronger legs to stand on for national parks and public land. For more about the GAOA check out the Whitehouse Website. Many thanks to onX and all of the other partners that have so tirelessly worked on making this great act a reality.
Do you like articles about the outdoors? You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram, and The Classic Woodsman YouTube Channel. Visit The Classic Woodsman’s storefront on Amazon.