U.S. SENATE – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Steve Daines’ bipartisan conservation bill, the “Great American Outdoors Act,” which provides full, mandatory funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and addresses the national park and public lands maintenance backlog was signed into law by President Trump. Following the signing ceremony, Daines received significant praise for his work on getting the greatest conservation bill in 50 years signed into law from the Trump administration, public lands advocates, sportsmen groups, local commissioners and more.
“Senator Steve Daines, he’s a fantastic man, a fantastic Senator, he’s done a wonderful job. He loves his state and he loves his country…You were unbelievable and you wouldn’t stop and look what happened right. You got it done, we appreciate it and the country appreciates it.” – President Donald Trump
“I also Mr. President want to join you in thanking the visionary leaders of the Senate, Senator Steve Daines, Senator Cory Gardner, we would not be here without your vision for the Great American Outdoors Act. Thank you for helping to preserve our great national heritage.” – Vice President Mike Pence
“RMEF congratulates President Trump and Congress for enacting the most significant conservation legislation in a generation. Senators Daines and Gardner deserve special recognition for their determination in getting it to the president’s desk. Because of their commitment to the Land and Water Conservation Fund and our treasured public lands and wildlife as well as all Americans who hunt, fish, camp and enjoy the outdoors will greatly benefit.” – R. Kyle Weaver, President and CEO, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
“I want to express my deep appreciation to Senator Daines for his hard fought efforts to champion in the greatest conservation legislation of my lifetime. This is just one more example of Steve’s love and dedication to our state, our nation, our natural resources and our natural heritage.” – Mark Peck, Commissioner, Lincoln County
“The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation applauds the passage and enactment of the Great American Outdoors Act. We extend our sincere appreciation to Senator Daines for his steadfast commitment to America’s sportsmen and women by championing this historic piece of legislation.”– Jeff Crane, President, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
“This is good news for all sportsmen and sportswomen concerned about access to places to hunt, fish, target shoot and recreate on public lands. Hunters and recreational shooters need access to public lands, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund projects are opening up access across the country. The Boone and Crockett Club thanks Senator Gardner and Senator Daines for securing President Trump’s support and the president for signing this landmark legislation.”– Tim Brady, President, Boone and Crockett Club.
“The Great American Outdoors Act is the single greatest piece of conservation and outdoor recreation legislation before Congress in decades. Its overwhelmingly bipartisan passage in the Senate and House is proof that the outdoors crosses party lines and resonates with all Americans. We applaud Republicans and Democrats for working together tirelessly to get this done. The entire outdoor recreation industry thanks every Senator who supported this bill and urges the House to move quickly to pass this measure so we can finally fully fund LWCF and begin the much-needed work on rebuilding infrastructure on our public lands and waters.” – Jessica Turner, Executive Director, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable
“Our country’s federal public lands provide most of the hunting opportunity for mule deer and black-tailed deer hunters. The Great American Outdoors Act provides necessary funding for sportsmen’s access and will help to improve the network of roads, trails, and facilities found on these federal lands. The Mule Deer Foundation applauds the leadership of Senator Daines, Senator Gardner and House leadership for bringing this historic bill to the president’s desk – its enactment today will add to our country’s conservation legacy.” – Miles Moretti, President and CEO, Mule Deer Foundation
“F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Company is very appreciative of the leadership of Senator Daines to introduce and pass the Great American Outdoors Act through Congress and on to the President. This is a huge step forward in the conservation of our natural resources, providing habitat management for our wildlife, and is very important to continuing the Forest Legacy Program in allowing private forest owners to keep their lands in working sustainable forests. Senator’s Daines tireless efforts to secure full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund will be appreciated by many future generations of Americans when we recreate in our great outdoors.” – Chuck Roady, Vice President and GM, FH Stoltze Land & Lumber Co.
“As conservationists, it is our duty to take care of the land we already own. Our public lands have been neglected for too long, allowing for wastewater systems to fall into disrepair, historic buildings to deteriorate, and trails to be overgrown. The Great American Outdoors Act is long overdue, but thanks to the good work of Senator Steve Daines and Congress’s bipartisan effort, we can begin to restore what’s great about our great American outdoors by ensuring ‘America’s best idea’ is no longer just an afterthought.” – Brian Yablonski, CEO, The Property and Environment Research Center
“Enactment of the Great American Outdoors Act is a major victory for the hiking community that will expand access to the outdoors for all. With the pandemic shining a bright light on the need for equitable access to natural spaces, securing LWCF permanent funding and tackling a substantial portion of the public lands maintenance backlog will greatly increase recreation opportunities on public lands and in neighborhoods across the country, including those that have historically lacked access.” – Kate Van Waes, Executive Director, American Hiking Society
“Passage of the Great American Outdoors Act is a tremendous win for Montana’s anglers and our coldwater fisheries. We thank Senator Daines for his leadership – and stewardship – of this legislation and getting it to the President’s desk today to be signed into law. Whether it is for securing more and better public access to our blue-ribbon rivers and streams or investing millions of dollars for the ongoing protection and restoration of the habitats that Montana’s coldwater fish depend on, this law will make a generational difference for our state.” – Clayton Elliott, Conservation and Government Affairs Director, Montana Trout Unlimited
“Offshore oil and natural gas has already provided 100% of the Land and Water Conservation Fund since 1965 when it was established. Now onshore production on non-park, non-wilderness public lands will likewise provide direct funding for conservation in national parks and other protected public lands. Not only can we do both—develop energy on public lands while protecting the environment–but now conservation and oil and natural development are intrinsically linked together and recognized as such. We provide on-the-ground-conservation to preserve and protect the lands that all Americans enjoy while meeting their energy needs.” – Kathleen Sgamma, President, Western Energy Alliance
“Today’s enactment of the Great American Outdoors Act will go down in history, and we thank Senator Daines and Senator Tester for their leadership. Full and dedicated funding for LWCF is a pragmatic and crucial investment in America’s outdoors, as we look for both economic relief and a path forward that addresses the impacts of a changing climate. The overwhelming support for GAOA in Montana’s Congressional Delegation and the President’s signature underscore the importance of our public lands and how their protection and improvement provides unmatched economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits to Montana’s communities and local businesses.” – Larry Selzer, President and CEO, The Conservation Fund
“Sen. Daines knows that our national parks are economic engines for the many communities that depend on the $21 billion in spending and more than 340,000 annual jobs that park visitors support across the country. With bipartisan congressional support, and now the President’s signature, the Great American Outdoors Act will help sustain these jobs, create new ones, and protect park sites and public land access for generations to come.” – Marcia Argust, Project Director, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Restore America’s Parks Campaign
“The passage of the Great American Outdoors Act is an incredible moment in the history of the conservation movement. Thanks to Senator Daines’ hard work, Americans will be able to enjoy our nation’s beautiful National Parks and public lands for generations to come. The American Conservation Coalition’s members at over 200 branches across the U.S. thank the Senator for his leadership.” – Benji Backer, President & Founder, American Conservation Coalition
“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 American Outdoors 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 appreciate the hard work of Senators Steve Daines and Cory Gardner to secure President Trump’s support that led to this bill being signed today. 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.”– Tim Brady, President, Boone and Crockett Club
“The Great American Outdoors Act is a truly historic, bipartisan conservation accomplishment that will protect wildlife habitat, expand recreational opportunities, restore public lands and waters, and create good jobs. Time and again, our leaders have shown that conservation can not only bridge the partisan divide, but also put American back to work and safeguard wildlife and our way of life for future generations. Thank you to Senator Daines and the long list of bipartisan leaders who helped secure this historic achievement.” – Collin O’Mara, President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation
“The Kalispell Chamber thanks Sen. Daines for his leadership on the Great American Outdoor Act, the most significant conservation legislation in a generation. The bill provides $9 billion over the next five years to fix deferred maintenance on public lands with $6.5 billion earmarked specifically for national parks units, which will help secure the future of Glacier National Park as a source of enjoyment and anchor feature for the local economy long into the future. Just as important, the $900 million per year in perpetuity for the federal government’s flagship conservation fund will help local and state governments acquire land for recreation and conservation, strengthening Montana’s unsurpassed outdoor recreation economy.” – Joe Unterreiner, President, Kalispell Chamber
“Passage of the Great American Outdoors Act is a big deal. A really big deal. So big that from now on August 4 should be celebrated as Great American Outdoors Day and everyone – especially kids – should be encouraged to get outside and enjoy our national parks and the great outdoors.” – Glenn Marx, Executive Director, Montana Association of Land Trusts
“All of us at Simms thank Senator Daines for his sponsorship and hard work on the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), which is the most important legislation for anglers, hunters and general outdoor enthusiasts in decades. The GAOA assures full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and needed infrastructure funding for our national parks, the forest service, native lands and for fish and wildlife. It will help protect and provide access to public lands for generations to come.” – K.C. Walsh, President and CEO, Simms Fishing
“The passage of the Great American Outdoors Act is a win for all Montanans. This legislation is an important investment in conservation. It secures resources needed to care for our public lands and helps us seize future opportunities to enhance the places where we work and play. Fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund and addressing the serious maintenance our national parks reflects the importance of these places to our economy, our communities and our well-being. We’re grateful to Senator Daines for his leadership and dedication in guiding the critical passage of the Great American Outdoors Act.” – Mark Aagenes, Director of External Affairs, The Nature Conservancy in Montana
“Thanks to Senator Daines’ leadership, the Great American Outdoors Act is now law. This is an important day for forest land owners like Weyerhaeuser. With full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, forest landowners will be able to utilize the Forest Legacy Program. This program complements investment from states and nonprofits in forest conservation, providing critical support to keeping working forests on a continuous cycle of growing, harvesting and replanting. We applaud Congress and the President for enacting this important piece of legislation. Thank you to Senator Daines for his leadership and tireless efforts on conservation issues” – Kristen Sawin, Vice President, Weyerhaeuser
“The Great American Outdoors Act unites hunters, anglers and all Americans in enhancing our outdoor pursuits and conserving fish and wildlife habitat. Passing bipartisan and bicameral legislation is a rarity these days, but time and time again we see our public lands and waters being that bridge that connects a wide range of stakeholders. Thank you, Sen. Daines, for your tireless efforts in getting the bill across the finish line and enacted into law.” – Land Tawney, President and CEO, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.