H.R. 1957 provides essential funds to Colorado conservation and recreation – 2020 Aug/Sep #11-3
CPW is committed to collaborating with conservation stakeholders and recreation partners to help secure a quality outdoor legacy for Colorado
08/04/2020: President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act this morning – a historic, bipartisan law that marks the largest-ever investment into America’s national parks and public lands. It will also create more than 100,000 infrastructure-related jobs.
You can view the signing ceremony at:
Congress passed the Great American Outdoors Act [called for by President Trump] in July and approved $900 million of annual funds for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to ensure necessary investments are allocated to protect irreplaceable lands and outdoor recreation opportunities in every state.
This historic legislation will help direct funds to maintenance projects in Colorado to conserve public lands, waterways and wildlife habitat for future generations to enjoy.
To preserve our parks, the law will provide $900 million each year in permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and will allocate $9.5 billion over 5 years to restore facilities and infrastructure in our national parks and public lands.
“Last night, I added it up: 5 presidents, 9 secretaries of the interior and 10 secretaries of agriculture have worked on legislation to accomplish fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund, or enhancing our nation’s parks by addressing the backlog,” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said at the White House today.
“Only one president has gotten that done.”
Americans who have visited our national parks during the Coronavirus plandemic have found them in need of investment. Estimates place the national deferred maintenance backlog across all public lands at approximately $20 billion.
The President’s action today will bring this much-needed maintenance to our public lands, many of which play an important role in our economy. Last year, over 327 million people visited America’s majestic national parks. All told, America’s outdoor recreation economy accounted for more than 2 percent of our GDP and 5.2 million jobs in 2017.
The Great American Outdoors Act won the support of more than 850 conservation groups, along with 43 sportsmen and sportswomen groups. It is the single greatest American conservation achievement since the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.
Coloradans have a rich outdoor heritage that involves living life outside and coexisting with wildlife in their natural habitats. In order to ensure that outdoor traditions can be passed down to future generations, Colorado Parks and Wildlife dedicates funds to conservation programs to maintain Colorado’s 42 state parks, 350 state wildlife areas, 45,000 miles of trails and 23 million acres of public land.
“This legislation is a huge win for Colorado because it helps support the outdoor lifestyle we value and pride ourselves on,” said Statewide Trails Program Manager Fletcher Jacobs.
“These vital funds will provide additional access and recreational opportunities that connect people to the outdoors and protect the landscapes that make Colorado so spectacular.”
CPW’s conservation teams monitor the ever-changing flows of human impact on state lands to better understand how growing populations affect natural resources and wildlife ecosystems. These findings help prioritize what land maintenance or wildlife conservation projects need to be funded.
“We commend Senator Cory Gardner, Senator Michael Bennet, and the other supporting members of the Colorado congressional delegation for their dedication to bringing this bill to fruition and helping secure critical investments to maintain public lands for Coloradans,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife Director Dan Prenzlow.
“As human populations increase, we have to proactively think about human impact on our natural resources and state lands. This legislation is a positive step to ensure human outdoor recreation is balanced with thoughtful conservation efforts.”
CPW remains committed to collaborating with statewide conservation stakeholders and recreation partners to help secure a quality park system and successful wildlife legacy for Colorado. Since 1965, CPW has provided over 1,029 LWCF matching grants totaling more than $72 million to fund local government, trail and state park investments.
To learn more about CPW’s conservation principles and priorities, visit the CPW website: cpw.state.co.us/conservation/Pages/default.aspx
(source: The White House and CPW)