The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) releases the following statement from President and CEO Dan Puskar:
"The Great American Outdoors Act will do more to ensure the preservation, vibrancy, and accessibility of America's public lands than any legislation in recent memory, investing more than $18 billion in the next decade. The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) is grateful to the inspired leadership displayed by Senate and House champions to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and tackle the deferred maintenance challenges in our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and conservation lands.
"This legislation could not have come at a more vital time. The COVID-19 pandemic crisis and ensuing economic devastation have reminded the American people of the incredible benefits of nature, especially to community well-being and individual health. Since the 1930s, public lands have also helped our national economy recover from major shocks by employing young Americans to improve access and visitor experiences. The Great American Outdoors Act addresses both of these needs, and so its proper implementation is critical.
"The National Park Service, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management will now be tasked with efficiently, effectively, and responsibly investing these new resources, and they will need strong partners to be successful. Many nonprofit public lands partners have the capacity and acumen to collaborate with agencies on managing construction projects and historic renovations, mobilizing youth and veteran conservation corps, raising and leveraging philanthropic funds, and negotiating the acquisition of critical in-holdings. PLA and the nonprofit partners of our public lands stand ready to work closely with land management agencies to achieve this legislation's important conservation goals."
About the Public Lands Alliance
The Public Lands Alliance is a network of more than 170 member organizations that serve more than 650 public lands and contribute over $250 million dollars annually to the preservation and visitor enhancement of those lands. PLA members are found in all states and territories and provide operational, interpretive, conservation, educational and philanthropic support to nonprofit organizations and their land management agency partners.