Op-Ed: Great American Outdoors Act Would Have Lasting Economic Impact

Jun 1, 2020

In March, the U.S. Senate introduced one of the most important conservation and recreation infrastructure bills: The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). Since then, our nation has changed drastically. Still, the outdoor industry is working for our small businesses, rural communities and national outdoor recreation heritage.

Current economic and self-isolation situations have made the GAOA more significant than ever. If signed into law — which the president has already committed to do — this bipartisan legislation would improve the economy, create jobs and strengthen the vitality of our public lands and waters for years to come. It would also help our country heal mentally and physically.

The GAOA includes the Restore Our Parks Act, which prioritizes fixing the $20 billion maintenance backlog on our public lands and waters and improving outdoor recreation facilities like campgrounds, docks, restrooms, trails, roads and more. This deferred maintenance funding will support the sustainability of recreation on National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management lands and waters as well as support the Bureau of Indian Education. It’s a smart investment, as a National Park Service study shows that for every $1 invested in national parks, $10 is returned to the economy.

Check out the full article from The Salt Lake Tribune here.