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The America's Great Outdoors Act of 2010 is a compilation of many bills, including funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, wilderness designation, habitat protection, and many other federal land programs.

x Read more news and discussion on the Land and Water Conservation Fund

 

S. 303: America's Great Outdoors Act of 2010

 

x December 22, 2010: A day after introducing the America’s Great Outdoors Act, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cancelled his effort to pass the 110-bill Omnibus legislation this year. The Senator's spokeswoman Regan Lachapelle said that "Sen. Reid is working with the chairmen of the relevant committees to see if smaller sections of the bill might be able to pass on their own." Senate Republicans had asked for more time for review the many unrelated program authorizations.

 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) introduced S. 303 as a substitute to the original bill. S. 303 was formerly titled the "Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 2009." Now titled "America's Great Outdoors Act of 2010," and also know as the "Omnibus Public Land Management Act," it is a package of 110 individual bills that covers 1,003 pages. The Senate passed the original S. 303 last year and the House of Representatives then passed an amended version.

Of particular interest is refererence to the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (16 U.S.C. 460l–5). This original LWCF law would be amended by deleting the program ending date of September 30, 2015. It also extends the annual appropriation of $900,000,000 which was also due to expire in 2015. The Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition describes this as "the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)." The Coalition believes this language "guarantees that LWCF will be available in the future while leaving specific decisions regarding funding levels and project needs to future Congresses."

The Act authorizes more than $18 billion in spending over 10 years for programs and agency initiatives that affect federal lands. Specific programs include:

• Increase the length of the North Country National Scenic Trail from 3,200 to 4,600 miles.

• Establish the Waco Mammoth National Monument in Texas and Chimney Rock National Monument in southwest Colorado

• Designations of Wilderness, National Heritage Areas, National Conservation Areas, and Wild and Scenic Rivers

• Special resource studies for possible designations of select areas as units of the National Park System, including a National Civil Rights Trail

• Conservation Corps programs: establish offices to coordinate Corps activities in the Department of the Interior and in the Forest Service, along with training programs to provide training for Corps participants

• Major conservation and restoration projects in the Puget Sound, Chesapeake Bay Basin, and Columbia Basin areas

• National Forest Ski Area Permit Act revisions to include promotion of year-round recreation at ski resorts

• Volcano and avalanche warning and monitoring programs

• Water programs: recycling and reuse, storm water management, hydro licenses, fish recovery programs, aquatic invasive species control

• Habitat conservation, restoration, and protection projects

• Ocean programs: International fisheries enforcement program, marine sanctuaries, and coral reef conservation

• Protection of historic battlefields

x See a Summary of the major provisions in S. 303

x Senator Reid's news release about the bill

x Complete text of S. 303 as introduced (pdf 1.3 mb)

x Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition: www.lwcfcoalition.org

 


x Read more about current funding for trails, parks, outdoor recreation, and federal land management on the American Trails website:

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