Silver Spring, MD—Feb 26, 2018—Congress just passed sweeping bipartisan public lands legislation impacting hikers and other users of public lands. Included in the soon to be enacted bill is a permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, expansion of existing trails, and passage of the Every Kid Outdoors Act, providing every fourth grader and their families free access to our public lands and waterways.

Read the statement from American Hiking Society, Executive Director, Kate Van Waes: 

“American Hiking Society celebrates the final passage of the Public Lands Package, benefiting millions of hikers and public land users nationwide. We urge the President to swiftly sign the bill into law. 

Elected officials have listened to diverse trail advocates across the country, including American Hiking Society’s NextGen Trail Leaders, who have called on Congress to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The LWCF has funded nearly 1,000 trail projects and now has the opportunity to fund thousands more.  This package also permanently ensures free access to public lands for all fourth graders and their families and extends trail access for the North Country and Lewis and Clark National Scenic and Historic Trails. 

This is a historic moment for public lands, and we must use this momentum to provide dedicated funding for the LWCF and enact strong public land protections.”