Wednesday, Aug 5, 2020
On Tuesday, August 4th, the Great American Outdoors Act, which was passed by the House and Senate this summer, was signed into law. This bill guarantees $900 million dollars annually to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) from oil and gas revenues, providing much-needed funding for natural lands and parks across the country. In its 50 year history, the LWCF has provided $329 million towards Michigan’s national parks and landmarks such as Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, and the North Country National Scenic Trail.
Public access to natural areas has become an important element for many of us through the COVID-19 pandemic, and the projects funded through this bill help ensure people are able to enjoy those areas responsibly.
In addition to outdoor recreation opportunities, which play a large and beneficial role in our state’s economy, the LWCF is a crucial tool for funding the protection of working forests, wildlife habitat, and clean drinking water supplies. With the passage of this bill, critical conservation projects in Michigan will help protect landscapes for vulnerable species.
The Great Lakes and Michigan’s natural heritage are beautiful and provide us with many recreational and economic opportunities, they deserve our protection along with our appreciation and support of bills such as the Great American Outdoors Act.