From the office of Representative Antonio Delgado:

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) voted to pass H.R. 1957, the Great American Outdoors Act, to provide permanent, full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and establish the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund. This bipartisan legislation, which passed the Senate last month, builds on the progress made by last year’s John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation ActThe Great American Outdoors Act will now go to the President’s desk for signature, ensuring critical investments in our national parks, public lands, and current and future conservation efforts.  

“From the Delaware River Watershed, to the Catskill Mountains, to the Hudson River—our public lands, recreational areas and natural heritage are a vital part of the upstate New York community,” said Rep. Delgado.  “The Great American Outdoors Act is a historic achievement that delivers the long-promised funding needed to protect our national parks and ensure that everyone in our community benefits from the economic, social and health benefits that public green spaces bring to New York families.  I am proud to join my colleagues to pass this vital legislation that will create good-paying jobs, protect our precious natural landscapes and make sure that upstate New York residents can access the great outdoors for generations to come.”

Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters, said, “Investing in our parks, beaches, and trails through a permanently and fully funded Land and Water Conservation Fund will expand access to natural areas like the Minisink Battleground Park, Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, and Taconic State Park. It will also provide economic stimulus to the outdoor recreation businesses that support them, which will help create the jobs and tax revenue that are critical to our economic recovery. That’s why the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been one of NYLCV’s top priorities for years. We thank the House of Representatives for passing the Great American Outdoors Act and Congressmember Delgado for support of this important conservation issue.”

The Great American Outdoors Act ensures that the $900 million permanently authorized by Congress last year funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund at the levels that were promised.  The LWCF is America’s most successful conservation program and these resources will make sure that it continues to:

•                 Support enhanced park and recreational access for local communities throughout the country;

•                 Addresses environmental injustice by creating green spaces near low-income communities and communities of color across the country by preserving our natural heritage in an equitable manner;

•                 Strengthens the recreation economy, which is one of the fastest growing economic sectors and a key driver of jobs across the country; and

•                 Implements recommendations from the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis’ Solving the Climate Crisis action plan to support the goal of protecting at least 30 percent of all U.S. lands and ocean areas by 2030 while helping fragile ecosystems, wildlife populations and communities become more resilient to the impacts of the climate crisis.

And to preserve our National Parks, the Great American Outdoors Act establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, providing federal land management agencies with critical resources to address the $22 billion deferred maintenance backlog on our public lands