MISSOULA, Mont. – The Boone and Crockett Club today praised passage of the Great American Outdoors Act by the U.S. House of Representatives as a monumental step for public lands conservation. The bipartisan bill, that passed by a resounding vote of 310-107 fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund and also provides funding to land management agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, to tackle their deferred maintenance backlogs. The bill passed the Senate in June and is expected to be signed into law by President Trump who expressed his support for the legislation in March.
“Our nation’s federal public lands were a gift to all Americans that began through the vision of Theodore Roosevelt, the founder of the Boone and Crockett Club. The Great American Outdoors Act continues this conservation vision providing the commitment not just to conserve important habitat and natural areas, but also to conduct critical maintenance actions on our existing network of lands,” commented Boone and Crockett Club President Tim Brady. “This is a landmark conservation action and we greatly appreciate the leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to secure floor action, as well as the bill’s House sponsors Representatives Joe Cunningham (D-SC) and Mike Simpson (R-ID).”
By fully and permanently funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Great American Outdoors Act will finally fulfill a promise to the American people made more than 50 years ago. Sportsmen and women depend on public lands for much of their hunting and fishing activity and recent changes to LWCF ensure that a portion of the funds are used for recreational access. In addition, through policy work by the Boone and Crockett Club and other conservation partners, the deferred maintenance funding can also be used on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service, BLM, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and BIA.
“The Great American Outdoors Act shows clearly how conservation policy can bring together both parties for the good of the country,” Brady concluded. “Our federal public lands have provided outdoor recreation opportunities during the current pandemic showing how strongly the public needs and supports these natural areas. Perhaps of even greater importance, the funding for deferred maintenance will provide much needed jobs in areas that have been hit hard by unemployment. Enacting this legislation will rank among the most historic conservation actions in decades.”
About the Boone and Crockett Club
Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club promotes guardianship and visionary management of big game and associated wildlife in North America. The Club maintains the highest standards of fair chase sportsmanship and habitat stewardship. Member accomplishments include enlarging and protecting Yellowstone and establishing Glacier and Denali national parks, founding the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, fostering the Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, creating the Federal Duck Stamp program, and developing the cornerstones of modern game laws. The Boone and Crockett Club is headquartered in Missoula, Montana. For details, visit www.boone-crockett.org.