Rep. Cox applauds House, passage of Great American Outdoors Act, public land protection bill

By The Leader Staff
Congressman TJ Cox voted to pass the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act, of which he was a co-lead.
Congressman TJ Cox voted to pass the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act, of which he was a co-lead.
Photo contributed

Kings County Rep. TJ Cox this week voted to pass the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act, of which he was a co-lead. The legislation fully and permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and makes investments to reduce the $20 billion public land maintenance backlog.

The LWCF uses revenues from federal offshore oil and gas leases to fund the protection of National Parks, forests, refuges, and recreation areas, using zero taxpayer dollars. Previously, this funding has gone towards improving places in the Central Valley, including Pixley National Wildlife Refuge, Heritage Park in Lemoore, and Hanford Sports Complex. Congress permanently authorized LWCF in 2019 as part of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act. 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of our National Parks, public lands, and outdoor spaces that provide recreation opportunities for Americans across the country. The Great American Outdoors Act authorizes funding for reducing our public lands maintenance backlog. It also fully and permanently funds the LWCF, all at a time when more Americans are seeking the solace provided by the great outdoors. I applaud my colleagues for their overwhelming bipartisan support of the bill. There is an old East Asian proverb: 'a generation plants the trees in whose shade another generation rests.' Today, we're planting trees," said Cox.

The local congressman introduced the Great American Outdoors Act in the House with 11 bipartisan colleagues in June. The legislation previously passed the Senate and now heads to the President's desk, where it will be signed into law.

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