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Congressman Don Young Helps the House Pass Landmark Conservation Legislation, Heads to the President’s Desk

Washington, D.C. – Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young, former Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, voted in support of H.R. 1957, the Great American Outdoors Act. This landmark conservation legislation provides funding to clear the $12 billion National Park Service maintenance backlog, expands the preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity, and permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) – an achievement fought for by Congressman Young for over 20 years. This bipartisan package is the single largest investment in conservation since the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps 80 years ago. It has been endorsed by dozens of organizations, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Wildlife Federation, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and the National Audubon Society. The bill now heads to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

“Alaska’s pristine environment and biodiversity are some of our state’s most precious resources. As a sportsman and conservationist, it has been my long-time goal to protect our state’s National Parks, trails, waterways, and forests,” said Congressman Don Young. “Today is a great day not only for Alaska, but for public lands across our country. For too long, the multi-billion-dollar National Parks maintenance backlog has been a dark cloud over our National Park System. I am pleased that we will finally be making needed investments in repair with the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. When I was Chairman of the Resources Committee, I was laser-focused on permanently reauthorizing the LWCF. Twenty years ago, I introduced the Conservation and Reinvestment Act with my good friend, the late Chairman John Dingell. Today, I am very proud that we have finally gotten permanent funding across the finish line, and I am very proud to have done it alongside John’s wife, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. LWCF is one of our greatest tools to protect our air, lands, and water; it has been essential to getting America’s families outside to enjoy our natural areas and cultural heritage.

Permanent funding for the LWCF is a tremendous victory, but we must not forget the importance of setting up a revenue-sharing system that does not disproportionately empower the federal bureaucracy, and one that is fair to states producing energy offshore. The concept is simple: revenues should go to the people in areas producing the energy, and to protecting our environment, not locked away in the Treasury. I will continue pushing to make revenue sharing a reality in Alaska. I want to thank my colleagues in both the House and Senate and on both sides of the aisle for coming together to write a robust bill. It is my great hope that the Great American Outdoors Act protects our environment so that future generations have the same opportunities to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors just as Americans have for hundreds of years.”

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