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Great American Outdoors Act approved by Congress and President Trump

Lester Graham
Lester Graham personal collection with permission.
Sleeping Bear Dunes.

President Donald Trump signed into law a bipartisan plan to spend more money on national parks and other conservation projects. The Great American Outdoors Act is being called the biggest conservation law in a generation.

First, it will mean up to $ 9.5 billion over five years for maintenance projects that have been put on hold at national parks.

Nick Dodge is with the League of Conservation Voters. He says that’s good for Michigan, given how many local, state and national parks and forests are in the state.

“Like Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore; Pictured Rocks. And the Great American Outdoors Act will actually increase funding for maintenance for those projects so we can continue to make sure they are enjoyable by people across the state for generations to come,” Dodge says.

The other major part of the Act is fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund. A lot of that money ends up going to local and state parks and other entities in the form of federal grants for sustaining forests and restoring wildlife habitat.

“And with a bigger piece of the pie here, with that increased funding through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, we anticipate that will continue and even expand here going into the future,” Dodge adds.

That money is used to help make forests more sustainable, restore wildlife habitat, and help deal with climate change effects in Michigan’s public parks and lands.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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