Congressman Anthony Brindisi today passed the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act through the House of Representatives, a bill he co-sponsored which is now on the way to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law. The legislation was passed by the Senate on June 23rd.

The act will help fund projects at federal properties including Fort Stanwix in Rome, as well as protect land and water that's essential to outdoor tourism, fishing and hunting from the Tug Hill Region and throughout the Mohawk Valley and Upstate New York.

The act will fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at a level of $900 million per year and address the approximately $20 billion maintenance backlog on federal public lands. The LWCF is the nation’s principal fund to address conservation and public recreation access, but most of these vital funds have been diverted away from conservation projects for years. The Great American Outdoors Act will correct what Brindisi calls a "misuse of federal dollars."

“Upstate New York is home to some of the greatest outdoor recreation spots in the world. They drive tourism, create good-paying jobs, and are an important part of our economy,” said Brindisi.  “This bipartisan legislation will give our great outdoor spaces the care and attention they deserve. By taking care of the maintenance backlog and permanently and fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Great American Outdoors Act makes sure our public lands can be enjoyed by all Americans for generations to come.”

New York State has received approximately $350 million in LWCF funding over the past five decades, supporting hundreds of projects across New York State. Outdoor recreation contributes more than $40 billion annually to New York’s state economy and supports more than 300,000 jobs statewide. The Great American Outdoors Act will ensure important repairs, updates, and investments can be made in Upstate New York’s public lands and outdoor recreation venues.

“This funding provides a long-term commitment to our national parks, most specifically Fort Stanwix National Monument. There are a backlog of maintenance/restoration projects which, when completed, will enhance the visitor experience at Fort Stanwix. The economic impact from the Fort’s activities is significant to our local economy,” said Rome Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo.

In February 2019, Brindisi voted to pass the Natural Resources Management Act, a permanent authorization of the LWCF, which was signed in to law by President Trump on March 12th. The Brindisi-backed bipartisan legislation is supported by local officials, businesses, conservation organizations, and more.

Brindisi joined the Problem Solvers Caucus in endorsing the bill on July 10th.