Great American Outdoors Act

S. 3422/H.R. 1957

Dennis Buchner

Why should you care?

Congress passed and the President signed into law a major piece of  legislation that will drastically improve access to trails and public lands to conserve the places you love to hike and address the long overdue maintenance needs that have resulted in trail closures at our National Parks, Forests, Refuges, and other public lands.

Land and Water Conservation Fund and the

Public Lands Maintenance Backlog


Fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund!

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), America's most important conservation and recreation program has protected, preserved, and expanded the places you love to hike in nearly every state and every county in the U.S. for 50 years, including nearly 1,000 trail projects. This law guarantees that funding is available for future generations to continue to conserve our public spaces.

The law also supports continued funding for the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program. LWCF and ORLP have made progress in expanding access to outdoor spaces for communities in urban areas. Continued support of the ORLP program is needed to ensure that our nation’s natural spaces are available and accessible to urban hikers, especially communities of color.  Permanent and dedicated LWCF funding is a must to ensure that our nation's trails, public lands, parks, and open spaces remain protected and accessible for all communities for generations to come.

The law permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to address the backlog of recreation and conservation needs in every state and county across the country.

Address the Maintenance Backlog on Public Lands

There is a nearly $22 billion backlog of maintenance projects across our public lands. When annual maintenance needs go unaddressed, long-term problems arise, seriously hampering the public’s access to outdoor recreation. Closed trails, out-of-service restrooms, campgrounds in poor conditions, and impassable roads are only a few of the barriers that hikers face.

The law provides $9.5 billion over five years from energy development revenues on federal land and water to address the most pressing deferred maintenance infrastructure needs within the National Park Service, Forest Service,  Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Education.


  • 1,000 trail projects nationwide
  • Protects access to open spaces
  • New outdoor recreation opportunities
  • Projects in all 50 states and nearly every county
  • Creates and improves local parks
  • Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP) to address outdoor recreation deficits in cities and urban areas and improve access for all.

Public Lands Maintenance Backlog

  • $20 billion backlog across all public lands.
  • $800 million est. trail maintenance backlog
  • Law addresses top maintenance needs at National Parks, Forests, Wildlife Refuges, and BLM sites.
  • Restores trails, campgrounds, road, visitor centers, and other infrastructure