Great American Outdoors Act Signed Into Law; Groups Laud Bipartisan Bill, Positives For Hunting, Fishing, Wildlife, Lands

The long battle to fully and annually fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million was finally won this week when President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law.

The legislation, which also authorizes spending $9 billion over the next five years on federal lands maintenance backlogs, earlier passed out of the U.S. Senate and House on bipartisan 73-25 and 310-107 votes.


Here is some of what national conservation leaders are saying about it:

Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer

“This program is absolutely crucial for elk, other wildlife and hunting access. LWCF further improves public access to public lands by directing federal agencies to open lands for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting unless specifically closed.” 

Land Tawney, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers president and CEO

“Today we unite in celebration of our public lands and waters,” said Tawney. “Success has many fathers and mothers, and without the dedicated, unwavering support of so many – ranging from rank-and-file hunters and anglers, outdoor recreationists and business owners to members of Congress and the President – we would never have achieved this hard-won victory.”

“Conservation has never been the province of a single party nor owned by a particular constituency, as illustrated by the super majority votes cast by our elected officials – 73-25 in the Senate and 310-107 in the House,” Tawney continued. “We are all public land owners. Today we can give thanks that our shared lands and waters will receive the funding critical to maintain important habitat for fish and wildlife, uphold opportunities for all to access and enjoy the outdoors, and sustain our irreplaceable outdoors legacy. Thank you, Mr. President, for listening to the American people and signing this historic legislation into law.”

Adam Putnam, Ducks Unlimited CEO

“The truly bipartisan nature of this bill is commendable, and the President’s signature today puts the finishing touches on what will go down as one of the great conservation achievements of our lifetime. Now that it’s the law of the land, we look forward to working with our partners at federal and state agencies, and in the conservation community, to help deliver this law’s ambitious promises to improve the American landscape for generations to come.”

Glenn Hughes, American Sportfishing Association president

“The sportfishing industry sincerely thanks President Trump and Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt for championing this critically important effort for conservation and outdoor recreation. Without their leadership, the Great American Outdoors Act, which will benefit the nation’s public lands for generations, could not have become law.” 

W. Laird Hamberlin, Safari Club International CEO (via Ammoland)

“It is an honor to represent the members of SCI and be a part of this historic day for sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts across the country. The Great American Outdoors Act benefits all Americans and will continue to do so for generations to come. We thank President Trump and his administration for their commitment to expanding outdoor opportunities.”

Whit Fosburgh, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership president and CEO

“Hunters and anglers across the nation have a reason to celebrate today,” said Fosburgh. “The Great American OutdoorsAct is the product of years of hard work by all segments of the outdoor community, from hunters and anglers to hikers and kayakers. To all the lawmakers who carried the water on Capitol Hill, we say thank you, and we thank President Trump for signing the bill into law. Today is proof that conservation stands above partisanship and political rancor.”

Tim Brady, Boone and Crockett Club president 

“The Boone and Crockett Club’s founder, Theodore Roosevelt, would be proud of this commitment to invest in the management of the public lands legacy that he created. The Great AmericanOutdoors Act brought together both parties because conservation is one of the few issues that everyone in this great country can get behind. Whether you hunt, fish, camp, hike, backpack, walk, paddle or just like to take your child to the neighborhood park, this new law will benefit all Americans.”

“We thank President Trump for his commitment to sign the Great American Outdoors Act into law. We also appreciate the hard work of Senators Cory Gardner, Steve Daines, and Joe Manchin for working with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to lead this bill through the Senate, along with Representatives Joe Cunningham (D-SC) and Mike Simpson (R-ID) who worked with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to lead the bill through the House. Enacting this legislation will rank among the most historic conservation actions in decades, and the sportsmen-conservation community can take pride in our work to ensure that this bill became law today.”