Many thanks to equestrians who recently sent approximately 550 letters to federal lawmakers urging their support for the Great American Outdoors (GAO) Act! Thanks in part to these significant efforts, on June 17th, 2020 the Senate voted in favor of the Great American Outdoors Act by an overwhelming, bi-partisan vote of 73 to 25.
The GAO Act, referred to as a “recreation package,” combines key elements of legislation long supported by the horse industry. This includes more resources for the backlog maintenance of public trails and full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) – at $900 million per year – which supports conservation easements that promote riding. Incorporating provisions of the “Restore Our Parks Act,” the package creates a revenue stream to dedicate funds from energy development projects to support the maintenance of trails run by the National Park Service (NPS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other agencies. Stay tuned for updates related to next steps to assure the bill becomes law.