Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
Members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation praised President Donald Trump’s signing of the Great American Outdoors Act as a victory for conservation and a help for an economy crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The president signed the legislation Tuesday. It will provide $1.9 billion a year for five years to help clear a maintenance backlog at national parks, monuments, refuges and other federal lands. It will also permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million a year.
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is already our nation’s most successful conservation program, but full and permanent funding will finally allow us to realize its promise – the promise envisioned by my father Stewart Udall (former congressman and Department of the Interior secretary), when he helped create the LWCF decades ago,” U.S. Sen. Tom Udall said in a news release. “Meanwhile, the substantial down-payment this bill makes to repair and clean up our national parks and public lands will help safeguard these precious places for decades to come, while providing a badly-needed jolt for our economy. This law is a model for how conservation and economic recovery can go hand in hand.”
Fellow Democrat U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland said the signing of the bill ensures that “the program (LWCF) that helps us build parks, rodeo grounds and recreation centers will have a guaranteed future and jobs in the restoration economy will be coming home to our state.”