PLUMMER, IDAHO — “As a firm supporter of protecting our public lands I stand with bill co sponsor Rep. Mike Simpson in supporting the Great American Outdoors Act. This historic piece of bipartisan outdoor legislation fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund, greatly improves the quality and longevity of our public lands infrastructure, and will help develop more conservation and outdoor recreation opportunities in both rural and urban areas. These types of conservation and access solutions are strongly supported by Idahoans, particularly where they contribute to our state’s outdoor recreation economy and channel in non-taxpayer dollars. I think we deserve an explanation from Jim Risch as to why he voted against it,” said Jordan.
The bi-partisan bill passed by a vote of 73 to 25, with Senator Jim Risch and Senator Mike Crapo both voting against the bill. “Risch’s ‘no’ vote shows how out of touch he is with Idaho’s needs. Every single county in the state has had a project aided by the LWCF. This legislation will greatly contribute to Idaho’s outdoor recreation industry and paves the way to get people back to work after thousands of Idahoans have been laid off in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jordan.
Idaho has more than a half billion dollars’ worth of deferred maintenance in its national parks and forests, according to data collected by the Forest Service. The GAOA will help our federal land-management agencies address the maintenance backlogs on Idaho’s federal public lands. “Idaho’s trails and campgrounds need updating and we need infrastructure that will improve public accessibility. If we address these maintenance costs it will directly impact economic activity on Idaho’s public lands and in gateway communities,” said Jordan.
“Idaho conservationists have been working for decades to see that the LWCF be fully and permanently funded. Risch should have joined Rep. Simpson as a co-sponsor on this bill, but instead he cast his vote against Idaho. Idaho’s public lands are literally our lifeblood. Not only are they an economic driver, but they have the capability of bringing all Idahoans together and providing much needed health and wellness benefits as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jordan.
Contact: Autumn Monteau