WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) applauded Senate passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, bipartisan legislation to improve access to public lands and preserve them for future generations. The bill includes key priorities Brown helped secure for Ohio, and is now set for House passage in the coming days.

“It’s been said that National Parks are one of the best ideas America has ever had,” said Brown. “This bill ensures that these public lands, historic sites and parks remain open and accessible for everyone. Whether for outdoor recreation, community events, or simply to enjoying nature, this investment will fuel our local economies, while preserving natural resources and history for generations to come.”

The Great American Outdoors Act invests in the repair of national park and public lands infrastructure and in protecting and providing recreational access through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to national, state, and local parks, forests, wildlife areas, and other public lands. These investments are critical to supporting local economies across the nation, creating jobs, helping small businesses get back on their feet, and providing urgently needed stimulus to the outdoor recreation industry that generates more than 5.2 million American jobs and contributes $778 billion in national economic output each year.

Specifically, the bill will help address priority repairs in our national parks and on other public lands by: 

  • Directing up to $9.5 billion over five years to address maintenance needs within the National Park System, the United States Forest Service (USFS), the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools, and
  • Fully and permanently dedicate $900 million per year into the Land and Water Conservation Fund, our nation’s most important conservation program, to ensure protection of and access to irreplaceable lands and local recreation opportunities.

LWCF has provided over $190 million to over 1,200 projects in state, local, and federal parks and recreation areas across Ohio, including the following sites:

  • Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial
  • Buffington Island Battlefield
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
  • Fallen Timbers Battlefield
  • Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
  • James A Garfield National Historic Site
  • Little Beaver Creek Wild and Scenic River
  • Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge
  • Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest
  • Wayne National Forest
  • Delaware Reservoir State Park
  • Old Man’s Cave, Hocking Hills State Park
  • Kelley’s Island
  • Olentangy River Trails, Columbus, OH
  • Geneva on the Lake Park
  • Beaver Creek State Park
  • Stonelick State Park
  • Smale Riverfront Park, Cincinnati, OH
  • Mohican State Park
  • Diehl Park, Defiance, OH
  • Findlay Reservoir, Findlay, OH
  • St. Henry North Park, St. Henry, OH
  • Zane’s Landing Park, Zanesville, OH
  • Barkcamp State Park
  • Barnesville Swimming pool, Barnesville, OH
  • Clarence Darrow Metropark, Warren, OH

In July, Brown joined his colleagues in introducing legislation to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Brown’s bill, the Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act, would help ensure LWCF can continue to support State Parks, national parks, national forests and other public lands. In addition to helping our National Park Service and other public lands agencies, the conservation efforts funded through this program provide state and local governments with the tools and resources to create and add to their own parks and recreation areas. These protected areas help preserve native wildlife, habitats and safeguard lands and waters for future generations.