The Great American Outdoors Act


A conservation legacy! In August the U.S. Congress passed the most important parks, conservation and outdoor recreation bill in a generation.       The Great American Outdoors Act authorizes $10 billion to address the mounting deferred maintenance backlog in our national parks. This historic bill also includes full, permanent and dedicated funding for the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for the first time ever since the landmark law was enacted in 1965. The LWCF, which receives $900 million a year from offshore oil and gas lease revenues, is a federal grant program administered by the National Park Service. The LWCF State/Local Assistance Program has been instrumental in acquiring park land and developing and rehabilitating outdoor recreation facilities in Indiana’s state parks since the 1970s. Trails, shelters, nature/outdoor learning centers, picnic areas as well as facilities that provide access to lakes and rivers are projects eligible for grant funding. Now that the LWCF enjoys full and dedicated funding, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will predictably receive more funding than ever to support state and local parks. Indiana’s state parks, including Falls of the Ohio State Park, could certainly benefit from LWCF grant assistance. The Great American Outdoors Act’s legacy will result in more LWCF signs placed in more parks in Indiana and across the U.S.