Published since 1946
Great American Outdoors Act Signed into Law
President Donald J. Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law on August 4 marking a significant victory for the conservation community. The bill provides full, permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million annually and a total of $9.5 billion over five years to address deferred maintenance work on federal public lands. At a reception at the Department of the Interior after the signing ceremony, Secretary David Bernhardt designated August 4 as “Great American Outdoors Day,” which will be a fee-free day on DOI managed lands in perpetuity.
“President Trump has just enacted the most consequential dedicated funding for national parks, wildlife refuges, public recreation facilities and American Indian school infrastructure in U.S. history,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “I’ve designated August 4th as Great American Outdoors Day and waived entrance fees to celebrate the passage of this historic conservation law.”
In order to implement the DOI portion of the Act, the Secretary then signed Secretarial Order 3383 on August 11 to establish the Great American Outdoors Act Coordination and Implementation Task Force that is charged with coordinating with other federal agencies and Tribes to:
- Develop a strategy to maximize the impact of the Great American Outdoors Act. The strategy shall ensure a timely project proposal and review process that minimizes delay and ensures decisive action; cuts across Bureaus; and includes establishment and utilization of a centralized project management office.
- Identify an initial list of priority deferred maintenance projects that are ready to be implemented in Fiscal Year 2021 and provide the list to the Secretary of the Interior within 50 days of the date of this Order.
- Evaluate staffing needs and direct relevant Bureaus/Offices to initiate necessary hiring and recruitment efforts.
- Identify additional policies and/or revisions to existing policies or practices that are needed to maximize successful implementation of the Great American Outdoors Act.
- Develop best management practices for deferred maintenance projects; and
- Recommend such other actions as may be necessary to fulfill the goals of this Order.