President Donald Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), H.R. 1957 into law. This historic federal law is among the most meaningful legislative measures for sportsmen conservationists ever.
The GAOA is a leap forward to delivering on the promise of sustained wildlife conservation, public land hunting and recreational shooting for current and future generations of outdoorsmen and women. The bipartisan legislation ensures full, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and addresses the maintenance backlog of public lands and water projects across the United States. Those projects include wildlife habitat conservation, road and trail repairs and increased recreational access to our public lands and waters.
The GAOA provides $9.5 billion over five years for deferred federal public lands and waters maintenance projects, with $3 billion set aside for infrastructure restoration on hundreds of millions of acres for increased access for America’s sportsmen and women. The Great American Outdoors Act also provides $900 million annually for permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The legislation also ensures that a significant portion of LWCF funding is dedicated to increasing public access for hunting, recreational shooting, fishing and outdoor recreation.
Sportsmen and women play a critical conservation role in the nation’s wildlife resources and to date, hunters and purchasers of firearms and ammunition, collectively, are the single largest source of wildlife conservation funding, contributing more than $13 billion since the enactment of the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act.