HR 1957, known as the Great American Outdoors Act, was passed by both houses of Congress and has now been signed by President Trump. Making this bill the single largest investment in national parks and public lands in America’s history.
Public land is owned by the American people, not the government, so it makes sense that the American people benefit from the money earned on their land. So when gas, oil, and mining take place on the public’s lands the government receives royalties.
The government receives approximately 1.9 billion dollars per year in royalties. This bill puts that money back into public lands projects for the benefit of the American people. The majority of this money goes to improving roads, bridges, parking lots, and buildings on public land.
In a speech given by President Trump, he talked about why he signed the bill. “Today we are making the most significant investment in our parks since the administration of the legendary conservationist President Theodore Roosevelt. More than 5,500 miles of road, 17,000 miles of road, and 24,000 buildings are in critical need of repair.”
Trump also talked about his overall view of public lands saying, “Americas natural landscapes belong to the American people, and while I am president we will always protect the great outdoors for hunting, fishing, camping, and the admeration enjoyment and reverence of every American citizen.”
Last year President Trump signed the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act. This was the most critical piece of public land legislation since Theodore Roosevelt. While many such as myself were worried about the Trump administration’s stance on public lands before the election, These two bills put President Trump as one of the most pro-public land presidents in history.