President Trump signed into law a bipartisan bill that some are calling the “biggest land conservation legislation in a generation.”
The Great American Outdoors Act establishes a fund that will provide up to $9.5 billion dollars to complete maintenance at national parks, wildlife refuges, forests and other federal lands.
“This is a very big deal, from an environmental standpoint, and just from a beauty-of-our-country standpoint. There hasn’t been anything like this since Teddy Roosevelt, I suspect,” said Trump at a ceremony celebrating the passage of the bill.
More than $6.5 billion, 70% of the fund, is allocated to the National Park Service. About 15% of annual funds will go to the U.S. Forest Service. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indiana Education will all receive about 5% of the fund.
The new law also permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which helps fund the four main federal land programs receiving maintenance funding and provides grants to state and local governments to acquire land for recreation and conservation.
The fund has helped Indiana acquire more than 30,000 acres of land since the program began.