Costa Statement on House Passage of the Great American Outdoors Act
(WASHINGTON) – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after the House passed the Great American Outdoors Act:
“This legislation will help preserve, protect, and maintain Yosemite and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks by investing in long overdue maintenance,” said Costa. “It will increase safety in our parks and enhance recreational opportunities. These are the kinds investments we need to make for future generations to come. It’s part of America’s legacy.”
The Great American Outdoors Act, of which Congressman Costa is a cosponsor, would:
- Provide permanent, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million annually.
- Establish the National Parks and Public Legacy Restoration Fund to address the nearly $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog of the National Park Service and Department of Interior agencies.
- Require the Government Accountability Office to report on the effectiveness of the Fund in reducing backlog of priority deferred maintenance projects.
- Make critical investments in our public lands.
- Create jobs across the country.
- Provide funding to our wildlife and wetland ecosystems.
According to National Park Service Fiscal Year 2019 estimates, Yosemite National Park requires over $643 million for deferred maintenance projects, and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks over $200 million, which are some of the highest out of all the National Parks in California.
The permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund will help support lands in Merced County. There are over 240,000 acres within the Grasslands Ecological Area and 26,800-plus acres of San Luis Wildlife Refuge, which are home to wetlands, riparian forests, native grasslands, and vernal pools.