This week, President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law. I’m summing up everything you need to know so you can spend less time researching and more time enjoying the great outdoors.
What is the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA)?
The GAOA is a bipartisan bill considered to be the most significant and impactful conservation legislation since the 1950s.
What is the purpose of the Act?
- The bill will provide roughly $9 billion in funds for conservation projects, outdoor recreation, and the maintenance of public lands in the next 5 years.
- The bill grants $900 million a year to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, “the nation’s most effective program for strengthening communities through conservation and improved access to outdoor recreation.”
- The money will have a huge impact on the massive maintenance backlog on roads, trails, and facilities that the 400+ U.S. national parks are currently experiencing.
How does this impact me?
If you enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, or recreating on America’s most beautiful lands, you will notice significant improvements in shared outdoor spaces including trails, parks, waters, and facilities in the next few years.
What other impacts will this have?
Outdoor recreation proves vital for our community’s physical, mental, and financial wellness. This act will have far-reaching impacts outside of prettier spaces and better camping experiences. The restoration projects are also expected to create at least 100,000 jobs.
Anything else I need to know?
Opponents of the Act suggest that the money simply isn't enough to cover the estimated $20 billion maintenance backlog on federally owned lands. However, a large majority of the outdoor community considers this a huge win that was backed by years of hard and diligent work by many.
Read more about the Great American Outdoors Act: