Audubon supports swift passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (S. 3422), which is currently moving through the U.S. Senate. The bipartisan Act will provide permanent, mandatory funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at the full-authorized amount of $900 million annually. Since 1964, LWCF has protected parks, important wildlife habitat, and areas of cultural significance in all 50 states. Full funding for this popular, bipartisan program will ensure conservation projects that protects birds like the Roseate Spoonbill, Bald Eagle, and Brandt’s Cormorant move forward.
In addition to permanent full funding for LWCF, the bill also creates a new fund ($1.9 billion annually for five years) to address deferred maintenance projects at the National Park Service, Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Education schools. These public lands and spaces provide critical bird habitat, protect endangered species, and connect people with birds across the country, but have struggled to keep up with repairs for their building and infrastructure. The Great American Outdoors Act will protect Important Bird Areas like California’s Point Reyes National Seashore, forest ecosystems in western North Carolina, wintering areas in Washington, and Florida’s Everglades.