Durbin, Duckworth Applaud Senate Passage Of Bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act

Landmark Legislation Will Permanently Fund The LWCF, Address $12 Billion Park Maintenance Backlog

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) released the following statement after the Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act, landmark legislation to preserve and protect our country’s public lands.  The bipartisan legislation provides permanent and full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and addresses the nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog in our national parks and other land management agencies. Durbin and Duckworth are cosponsors of the legislation.

“The Great American Outdoors Act addresses the backlog in maintenance and land management will directly support Shawnee National Forest, Pullman National Monument, and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Illinois.  I’m glad the Senate could come together to pass this bill that provides robust federal funding to maintain our national parks and public lands for future generations of Illinoisans to enjoy,” Durbin said.

“America’s national parks and public lands are cherished by not just Illinois families, but families from around the world—so we should do everything we can to preserve and protect them for generations to come while making them more accessible for all. I’m proud the Senate passed the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act to address the $12 billion maintenance backlog and fully fund the program responsible for maintaining—and improving accessibility at—our nation’s public lands and I hope it will be signed into law soon,” said Duckworth.

Illinois has received more than $213 million in LWCF funds since the program began, including $5 million last year.  

The bill was introduced by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Joe Manchin (D-WV). Along with Durbin, Duckworth, the bill is also cosponsored by Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Warner (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Richard Burr (R-NC).