Golden’s Bipartisan Legislation to Fix Maintenance Backlog at Acadia, Other Nat’l Parks Heads to President’s Desk
WASHINGTON — A bipartisan bill introduced by Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) and 11 other Members of Congress in June to invest and maintain America’s public lands, the Great American Outdoors Act, passed the House with overwhelming support today. The legislation now heads to the president’s desk for his signature into law.
The legislation allocates $9.5 billion in funding to address maintenance backlogs at places like Acadia National Park and establishes permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
“Especially now that we’re in a pandemic, public lands have taken on new importance for many families in Maine,” said Golden. “I was proud to introduce the Great American Outdoors Act with a bipartisan group of House colleagues to invest in our national parks and protect and expand public lands. With this bill’s overwhelming bipartisan passage through the House today, we are a step closer to finally fixing the maintenance backlog at Acadia and so many other national parks.”
Acadia National Park has had a significant maintenance backlog for years. As of 2018, Acadia had almost $66 million in deferred maintenance, according to the National Park Service. Nationwide, federal lands had accumulated nearly $12 billion in backlogged maintenance that same year.
The bill was co-sponsored by more than 230 bipartisan Members of Congress, and a companion bill — introduced by Senator Angus King (I-ME) and others — in the Senate passed in June.
Golden joined with Republican Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) to make the case for the legislation in an op-ed in Newsweek earlier this week.
Golden has worked with Acadia National Park, bipartisan Members of Congress, and other members of the Maine delegation to protect public lands and ensure Mainers have access. Last July, Golden met to discuss Acadia’s maintenance backlog with the park superintendent. Earlier this year, he introduced new legislation -- with Senator King -- to give Gold Star Families free admission to federal public lands nationwide. That bill passed the House last night as part of the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.
You can read the press release about the introduction of the bill here.