Kaine Praises Senate Passage Of The Great American Outdoors Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement applauding Senate passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA):
“The Great American Outdoors Act is a historic, bipartisan win for Virginia and the environment. I’m proud of the leadership displayed by my colleague and friend, Senator Mark Warner, who helped usher this bill to passage and championed the parks maintenance provisions in this package. These funds will address the deferred maintenance backlog in our nation’s system of recreational trails, create needed jobs, and benefit Virginia with improvements along the Appalachian Trail. And through permanent, full funding for LWCF, we will improve access to public lands and outdoor recreation. From the George Washington and Jefferson Forest to historic Werowocomoco, sites across the Commonwealth have been preserved for generations thanks to the conservation work supported by LWCF.”
The Great American Outdoors Act will dedicate $1.9 billion over 5 years, derived from federal revenues on energy development, to address the deferred maintenance backlog of National Park Service (NPS) and other federal lands related to outdoor recreation. NPS currently faces a $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog. Infrastructure needs along the Appalachian Trail include trail maintenance and improvements to roads, parking areas, bridges, water systems, and trail shelters. GAOA also provides annual, mandatory funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at its authorized level of $900 million. LWCF was established by Congress in 1964 and through partnerships with state, local, non-profit, and private entities to support conservation of public lands and waters including National Parks, wildlife refuges, forests, rivers and lakes, historic sites, and countless other outdoor recreation locations that benefit local communities and the environment. Kaine is an original cosponsor of the legislation and a strong advocate for public lands and the environment. As Governor, he worked across the aisle to preserve more than 400,000 acres of open space in Virginia.