Mass Audubon Applauds Bi-partisan Senate Approval of Great American Outdoors Act; Calls for Quick Passage by the House Followed by President's Signature

Release Date:
June 19, 2020

Mass Audubon applauds the U.S. Senate’s bi-partisan support for the Great American Outdoors Act, which will fully fund the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, and urges the House of Representatives and President Trump to quickly make it law.

“The Great American Outdoors Act is one of the most important pieces of natural resource legislation in a generation,” Mass Audubon President David O’Neill noted, “and passage will serve as an historical milestone in guaranteeing the nation’s environmental security during a time of great uncertainty and challenge.

“We call upon the House to pass the bill quickly and send it to the President for his immediate signature,” O’Neill said.

The legislation will ensure that the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) receives its annual $900 million allocation and also sets aside $9.5 billion over five years to tackle a longstanding maintenance backlog in the national parks system.

Congress created the Fund in 1965 to develop and maintain a nationwide legacy of high-quality recreation areas, but in recent years LWCF has been beset by insufficient funding, which has endangered its mission.

Mass Audubon has supported full LWCF funding for decades; the state’s largest nature conservation nonprofit has worked tirelessly alongside the Massachusetts congressional delegation and other environmental partners to reach this signature moment in environmental stewardship.

In Massachusetts, LWCF has supported large federal open spaces including the Cape Cod National Seashore; Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, a river/freshwater marsh corridor extending through a string Middlesex County communities; and the Silvio Conte National Wildlife Refuge in the Connecticut River Valley.

But the Fund has also had an important impact at the local level, supporting Bay State municipalities in maintaining and improving their public parks and recreation areas.  

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Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 140,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.