FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2020
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán voted for greater access to the outdoors for every American. The Great American Outdoors Act will provide permanent, full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and establish the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund. After passing the Senate last month, The Great American Outdoors Act will now go to the President’s desk for signature, ensuring critical investments in our national parks, public lands and conservation efforts today and into the future.
“Green spaces should be a right for everyone, regardless of where they live or the color of their skin. Unfortunately, for too many communities of color, parks are considered a privilege. In my district in Compton, we have about half an acre of parkland for every thousand residents. That’s well below the average for L.A. County and the nation, ,” said Rep. Barragán. “Today we change this injustice. The Great American Outdoors Act will create more local parks in low-income and urban neighborhoods. I’m proud to vote in support of this legislation today to secure access to green spaces for our young people today and for future generations.”
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.
“Ensuring that every American in every community, particularly our young people, can enjoy these public spaces is essential to helping them grow and thrive,” continued Rep. Barragán. “House Democrats stand with California families and the American people to celebrate this important victory as we rededicate ourselves to protecting our environment and natural heritage and fulfilling our conservation promises for generations to come.”