PORTLAND, Maine (August 4, 2020) – The Great American Outdoors Act, a bill considered by advocates among the most important conservation laws in decades, was signed into law today and will fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and provide needed funds for deferred maintenance of our national parks.
“The investments the Great American Outdoors Act makes in our parks and public lands is necessary and timely, said Jenny Kordick, Executive Director of Maine Outdoor Brands. “As sales of bikes and kayaks and camping gear have soared recently, it’s clear that outdoor recreation plays a significant role in helping Maine’s economy and people recover and rebound from the pandemic. We thank all of Maine’s Congressional delegation in championing this effort.”
The act includes $9.5 billion over five years for to help take care of the $12 billion backlog at national parks — including $65 million at Maine’s Acadia National Park — and other federal land maintenance and also fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is responsible for $18.4 billion in land acquisition and facility construction over the past five decades.
Together, the two pieces of the act are expected to generate hundreds of thousands of jobs and support a variety of outdoor recreation businesses and communities. The act funnels billions of dollars into preserving and maintaining recreational land, creating a powerful economic generator for the outdoor recreation industry and potentially restoring jobs lost in the COVID-19 crisis.
“Maine has a rich outdoor recreation heritage that continues to enhance our quality of life and supports a growing outdoor recreation industry that contributes $3 billion to Maine’s economy.,” said Carolann Ouellette, Director of the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation. “Protecting our natural resources, special places and investment in outdoor recreation infrastructure are all critical to our communities, our health and wellness and our economy – which is why the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act is such positive news.”
First, the bill had to pass the Senate back in June, then the House of Representatives passed it in July and now today, the President of the United States signed it into law.
About Maine Outdoor Brands: Maine Outdoor Brands unites business leaders and entrepreneurs in raising awareness of Maine’s outdoor recreation economy and strengthens Maine’s outdoor brands through knowledge sharing, collaborative marketing and commerce efforts and access to professional resources. MOB is committed to seeing Maine-based product, service, and retail brands thrive, and today has over 100 members that are a part of the mission. The organization was formed by leaders from Blaze Partners, Good To-Go, Flowfold, Trailspace and Stabil (now owned by Implus) in 2017. To learn more about Maine Outdoor Brands, visit www.maineoutdoorbrands.com.