June 17, 2020

Great American Outdoors Act Missed Opportunity for SRS and PILT Programs

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) issued the following statement after voting against the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA): 

“I have long supported responsible conservation programs at the federal level.  The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has produced a number of environmental success stories, and I voted last year to permanently authorize the program.  However, each case should be weighed on its own merits, and the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) makes the funding mandatory, which removes Congress’ oversight ability to determine how much money goes to this program each year.  Instead of focusing primarily on acquiring more lands, federal conservation dollars should go toward maintaining the lands the federal government already owns.  Many states like Idaho have existing large tracts of federal lands and state and local leaders deserve more of a say in the approval process for projects in their areas.  Moreover, Congress missed a great opportunity to include permanent reauthorizations of the Secure Rural Schools and Payment In Lieu of Taxes programs that help meet the federal obligation to rural counties that house federal land.” 

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