Murkowski Votes for Great American Outdoors Act
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today voted in favor of the Great American Outdoors Act, which the Senate passed by a margin of 73 to 25. This conservation measure addresses deferred maintenance backlogs on federal land, including for national parks and national forests, and provides increased support for local recreational opportunities.
“The Great American Outdoors Act will help address long-standing maintenance backlogs in Alaska, whether at Denali or Wrangell-St. Elias or in the Tongass, while also giving us new means to address looming challenges like the Denali Park Road,” Murkowski said. “While I wish we could have amended the bill to incorporate additional priorities for Alaska, this is a strong and important conservation measure, and one that I support.”
The Great American Outdoors Act is largely comprised of two bills reported by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year: S. 500, the Restore Our Parks Act, and S. 1081, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Permanent Funding Act. Murkowski has strongly supported addressing the multi-billion maintenance backlogs at land management agencies and the stateside LWCF program, which provides matching grants for state parks and outdoor recreational facilities.
Murkowski sponsored and cosponsored several amendments to the Great American Outdoors Act, including one to establish an offshore revenue-sharing program for Alaska to provide for coastal protection, restoration, village relocation, and other critical projects.
Murkowski has used her position as Chairman of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee to steadily increase funding to address maintenance backlogs, providing more than $1.3 billion over the past four years alone. In 2019, Murkowski worked with her colleagues to author the Dingell Act (S. 47, Public Law 116-9), which permanently reauthorized the collection and deposit functions of the LWCF and included modest reforms, including a specific allocation for state-side projects and another for recreational access projects; parity for the territories and Washington, DC to receive program funds; and criteria to be considered when acquiring lands.