TCV Applauds All Tennessee House Members for Supporting the Great American Outdoors Act
Nashville, TN — The U.S. House of Representatives took an historic vote on July 22nd when it approved the Great American Outdoors Act, a bill that will invest in priority repairs at National Park Service (NPS) sites in Tennessee and across the country. In Tennessee alone, deferred maintenance needs total $288,288,338, just part of the multi-billion backlog threatening park resources and local economies. All Tennessee representatives signed the bill and President Trump is expected to sign as well.
The Senate passed the legislation by an overwhelming bipartisan vote in June. The bill will also address repairs on other public lands and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, an important tool that preserves access to public lands and provides resources to urban and rural communities for recreation facilities.
“Our parks and historic sites have been crumbling for years. This bill will help restore the integrity of these important places and the stories they tell including local parks here in Davidson County and national parks like The Natchez Trace Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in East Tennessee”, said Tennessee Conservation Voters President Barbara Futter. “We thank Rep. Jim Cooper, Rep. David Kustoff, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Mark Green, Rep. DesJarlais, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Rep. Tim Burchett, and Rep. Phil Roe for voting for the Great American Outdoors Act."
The legislation is the most significant investment in almost 65 years for national parks and public lands. Equally important, it will help our local community and businesses get back on their feet and will generate more jobs.
“Our local economies depend on the tourism dollars that our park sites generate. According to NPS, in 2019 alone, visitors spent $717 million in gateway communities across Tennessee,” said Futter. “Our parks need to be in good shape to ensure they’re accessible and safe for visitors, who in turn support our economy.”
Park tourism contributes over $41.7 billion to the national economy annually and supports over 340,000 jobs. This legislation has the backing of more than 900 organizations including local towns and cities, the recreation industry, veterans’ groups, hotel and lodging, infrastructure associations, preservation groups, hunters and anglers, conservation organizations, and local businesses.