President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act today! That is great news if you enjoy recreation on public lands in our great United States of America.
Most recreationists view oil and gas exploration and production as the devil, but this bill illustrates the monstrous benefits to bringing energy production to America.
As of last year repairs and maintenance on public lands and our National Parks, as well as the development of new public land access opportunities, were sorely backlogged! The money needed for the ongoing infrastructure improvements and repairs was simply not there.
The national deferred backlog across all public lands is estimated at $20 billion! The Great American Outdoors Act allocates an amount equal to 50% of the revenues received from oil, gas, coal, and alternative energy for priority deferred maintenance projects in our National Parks and public lands.
THIS IS HUGE IF YOU LOVE TO HIKE, HUNT, FISH, OR RECREATE IN GOD’S CREATION!!!
THE MONEY PROBLEM
Those who have attempted this type of legislation before President Trump, ( Clinton, Bush, Obama ), have failed to deliver. A major part of that is the money.
You HAVE to make or have money to pay for something. This sounds simple but escapes many people when it comes to Conservation.
Over the years, oil, gas, coal, and timber harvesting has been strongly opposed and blocked in our western states in the name of saving our wildlife, and pristine mountains and wild public lands. The effect is not what you would imagine.
Even though I think there are many problems with how these industries are sometimes run, I do understand that they provide a massive amount of cash into the economy that is desperately needed to fund the care and restoration of our public lands and national parks.
In other words, we NEED the money that these industries provide to make it possible for us to enjoy and recreate in our Great Outdoors!
Thank goodness that our President understands this economic reality and has proposed and champianed this bill through Congress to protect our ability to experience the places that still seem wild!
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?
The Great American Outdoors Act provides the funding that has so greatly lacked for things such as trail maintenance, campground repairs and maintenance, and new access points to lands that were not accessible to the public!
The amount of money provided to this program will be huge. Up to $1.9 billion per year according to the summary of the bill.
In this time of uncertainty in everything else, we can take a breath of relief for our public lands and National Parks. They can now be safely maintained for the next generations.
I for one am so thankful that the opportunities to hunt, fish, hike, and enjoy the great outdoors will be there for me and my family for many more years to come.