July 22, 2020

Rep. Mike Levin Helps Pass Bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act

Washington, D.C – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) voted for the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act, landmark legislation he cosponsored that provides permanent and full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million annually. The bill also creates a National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund that will provide funding to the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and other agencies to address $22 billion in deferred maintenance on public lands. LWCF has helped conserve public lands in North County San Diego and South Orange County, including Doheny State Beach, San Onofre State Beach, Carlsbad State Beach, Torrey Pine State Beach, San Elijo State Beach, Moonlight State Beach, and numerous lagoons throughout Rep. Levin’s District.

“For more than 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has preserved public lands across the country, including many of the beaches and lagoons we cherish in North County San Diego and South Orange County,” said Rep. Levin. “While the LWCF has protected our natural resources for decades, the Great American Outdoors Act will finally guarantee that it receives full and permanent funding every year. This historic legislation will support millions of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity, including the outdoor recreation and tourism industries that drive our local economy. We’re also taking another important step forward in our fight against the climate crisis by conserving currently unprotected natural resources across the country and protecting vital ecosystems. I’m proud to help pass the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act to conserve our public lands for generations to come.”

California has received more than $2.4 billion in LWCF funding over the last fifty years, supporting an outdoor recreation industry that is responsible for 691,000 jobs and $92 billion in annual consumer spending across the state, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. A fact sheet with more background on the Great American Outdoors Act is available from the House Natural Resources Committee here.

As a member of the House Natural Resources Committee and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, Rep. Levin has fought to protect public lands by supporting the LWCF and the Endangered Species Act, and reforming the Bureau of Land Management's oil and gas leasing program. He introduced the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act with Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) to promote renewable energy on public lands in a way that supports conservation, and he introduced the Green Spaces, Green Vehicles Act to fund the installation of electric and fuel cell charging infrastructure on public lands and facilitate the conversion of Park Service and Forest Service fleets to zero emission vehicles.

Click here to watch Rep. Levin’s remarks on the House floor in support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.