The Pope and Young Club Urges Lawmakers to Continue Support for the Great American Outdoors Act
The Pope and Young Club recently joined other conservation organizations urging lawmakers to continue their support for the “Great American Outdoors Act.” The bill, which is the most important conservation legislation to receive an up-or-down vote in decades, would expand access for hunters and anglers, invest in critical wildlife habitat and public lands, and strengthen the nation's outdoor heritage for generations to come.
Monday, June 8th, the Senate took a monumental step toward passing the historic Great American Outdoors Act (S. 3422), which represents the single greatest commitment to increasing public access and advancing conservation in a lifetime, by voting to proceed to final consideration of the bill on an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 80-17.
S. 3422 will provide $9.5 billion over five years to address the crumbling infrastructure on America's public lands and waters. While the National Park Service will receive $6.5 billion in funding with $3 billion set aside to repair and maintain public land infrastructure overseen by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS), and U.S. Forest Service (USFS), which are critically important to providing recreational opportunities to sportsmen and women.
“The Pope and Young Club applauds the U.S. Senate for the support demonstrated by their willingness to recognize the necessity and value that lies within this historic and critically important legislation. Our hunting and angling community has earned this, our fish and wildlife resources deserve it.” - Neil Thagard, Pope and Young Club Conservation Chair.
"The overwhelming vote yesterday evening in the Senate clearly demonstrates the importance of sportsmen and women," said CSF President Jeff Crane. "The Great American Outdoors Act is once-in-a-lifetime legislation that will increase access, advance conservation, and provide Americans with new employment opportunities at a critical time. We are grateful for the strong bipartisan vote yesterday, and we urge the Senate to replicate this vote later in the week to ensure final passage."
The Great American Outdoors Act's inclusion of funding to address the maintenance backlog on these lands is critical for America's hunters and anglers. Of 439 million acres managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, 99 percent are open to hunting and fishing. In addition, the National Wildlife Refuge System supports approximately 2.7 million hunting days and nearly 8 million fishing days each year.