March 10, 2020

Duckworth, Durbin, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act

Landmark legislation will permanently fund the LWCF, address $12 billion park maintenance backlog


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), introduced the Great American Outdoors Act, landmark legislation to preserve and protect our country’s public lands.  The bipartisan legislation provides permanent and full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and addresses the nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog in our national parks and other land management agencies.

“America’s national parks and public lands are cherished by not just Illinois families, but families from around the world—so we should do everything we can to preserve and protect them for generations to come while making them more accessible for all. I’m proud to join Senators Durbin, Gardner and Manchin to introduce this important bipartisan legislation to finally address the $12 billion maintenance backlog and fully fund the program responsible for maintaining—and improving accessibility at—our nation’s public lands,” said Duckworth.

“Illinois families and outdoor enthusiasts spend countless hours and days enjoying our nation’s public lands and national parks.  The backlog in maintenance and land management poses a serious threat to the beauty and upkeep of these national treasures. Our bill ensures the federal funding is there to maintain the parks for future generations,” Durbin said.

Illinois has received more than $213 million in LWCF funds since the program began, including $5 million last year.  

Along with Durbin, Duckworth, Gardner, and Manchin, the bill is also cosponsored by Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Warner (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Richard Burr (R-NC).