Conservation, park repairs funded

Jul 27, 2020
Increased, permanent funding of the annual Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to the Marianas is set to become law after the Great American Outdoors Act passed the House on Wednesday. H.R. 1957 provides full, permanent funding of $900 million in offshore oil and gas revenues each year to the LWCF which in turn means about $800,000 annually for the Marianas to safeguard our natural areas or to plan, develop, and maintain public outdoor recreation projects. Annual funding increased ten-fold last year with passage of the John J. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act. That Senate bill packaged over a hundred separate legislative proposals together, including legislation I worked on for years, giving each insular area a state-share of LWCF funding. Previously, the five insular areas and the District of Columbia all split one state-share. But even with a full share funding was subject to annual appropriation limits. That is why I also voted for the permanent $900 million in funding when that legislation came before the House Natural Resources Committee, as H.R. 3504, on June 22, 2019. 21 Democrats voted in favor; 13 Republicans opposed. 
 
The Great American Outdoors Act also funds long-overdue maintenance needs at parks managed by the National Park Service, including the American Memorial Park on Saipan. Over the next five years, $6.65 billion will be allocated for repairs at facilities run by the Park Service. American Memorial Park is on the agency’s list for $10.6 million in repairs.