By Elizabeth Mendia
Kern Valley Sun
The Great American Outdoors Act, which would provide permanent dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to address the maintenance backlog of the National Park Service, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, and the Bureau of Indian Education, was passed by both chambers of Congress and presented to the President on July 24, according to Congress.gov. The President is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming days.
The maintenance backlog on public lands is over $20 billion dollars, according to American Whitewater, a national 501(c)3 nonprofit advocacy organization whose mission is “to protect and restore America’s whitewater rivers and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely,” who provided the Sun with a factsheet about the bill in June.