Every 30 seconds in America, bulldozers pave over a green area the size of a football field. In the nation’s century-old parks system, there’s not enough money to fix crumbling roads, hiking trails and even restrooms, let alone preserve millions of acres of land.
The House is expected to approve a plan this week to invest nearly $2 billion per year to restore national parks, conserve land to ward off the impacts of climate change and put parks and playgrounds in urban areas that sorely need them.
The Great American Outdoors Act, passed overwhelmingly in the Senate by a 73-to-25 vote on June 17, has been called one of the most important environmental bills in history because it could nearly eliminate a $12 billion National Park Service maintenance backlog and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for the first time since it was enacted in the 1960s.
Click here to read the full story from Darryl Fears and Dino Grandoni in the Washington Post.
“This is decades in the making,” said Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.), the lead sponsor. About 200 lawmakers have joined a bipartisan effort to support it. “That goes to the importance of it. It would enact permanent funding that has eluded a lot of people. We’re glad to bring it to a close and bring it across the finish line,” he said.