Tester’s Historic Great American Outdoors Act Clears House, Headed for President’s Desk

Bill to fully fund LWCF passed Senate in June; also provides nearly $10 billion for public land maintenance

U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s historic bill securing full, permanent funding for the critical Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) passed the U.S. House of Representatives today and is one step away from being signed into law.

The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) cleared the chamber 310-107, and now awaits President Trump’s signature. In addition to fully funding LWCF at $900 million a year, the GAOA allocates $9.5 billion to address maintenance backlogs on public lands across the United States.

“This type of public lands win comes along only once in a great while, and we are now one signature away from it becoming law,” Tester said. “The Great American Outdoors Act will help protect public lands that make Montana special and power our outdoor recreation economy for generations to come. It’s because of the hard work of public land owners across Montana making their voices heard in Washington loud enough to convince the skeptics that we’re finally on the cusp of a victory our kids and grandkids can celebrate. I look forward to President Trump signing it into law so we can get to work putting these conservation tools to good use.”

Established in 1964, the LWCF uses revenues from oil and gas leasing to fund conservation and recreation priorities across the nation. Since its creation, the LWCF has invested millions into Montana’s $7.1 billion outdoor recreation economy.

Tester first introduced a bill to fully fund the LWCF in 2009, and until recently was the only member of the Montana delegation to support full, mandatory funding for LWCF.