Sunday, August 09, 2020


News for Immediate Release
Aug. 4, 2020
Contact: Katie McKalip, 406-240-9262,

President signs ‘once in a generation’ conservation and access bill following
strong support by Congress, unrelenting advocacy by BHA and others

WASHINGTON – Following strong, bipartisan votes in the Senate and House of Representatives and outspoken support by public lands sportsmen and women, the President this morning signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers has consistently urged Congress to prioritize funding for public lands and waters. The Great American Outdoors Act, or GAOA, achieves a longtime BHA goal by ensuring full and dedicated funding at $900 million annually for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a popular and successful program that funds conservation and public access projects across the United States. (The Dingell Act, which became law last year, permanently reauthorizes LWCF.) GAOA also includes $9.5 billion over five years to address critical maintenance backlogs on public lands and waters.

BHA President and CEO Land Tawney commended members of Congress and the President for championing the bill, while crediting grassroots sportsmen and women for their unrelenting advocacy in fighting for its passage.

“Today we unite in celebration of our public lands and waters,” said Tawney. “Success has many fathers and mothers, and without the dedicated, unwavering support of so many – ranging from rank-and-file hunters and anglers, outdoor recreationists and business owners to members of Congress and the President – we would never have achieved this hard-won victory.

“Conservation has never been the province of a single party nor owned by a particular constituency, as illustrated by the super majority votes cast by our elected officials – 73-25 in the Senate and 310-107 in the House,” Tawney continued. “We are all public land owners. Today we can give thanks that our shared lands and waters will receive the funding critical to maintain important habitat for fish and wildlife, uphold opportunities for all to access and enjoy the outdoors, and sustain our irreplaceable outdoors legacy. Thank you, Mr. President, for listening to the American people and signing this historic legislation into law.”

Passage of the Great American Outdoors Act was made possible by a bipartisan group of congressional leaders, including Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Steve Daines (R-MT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Reps. Joe Cunningham (D-SC), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), to name just a few.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the voice
for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.

I am a proud member of the BHA and Trout Unlimited, both of which fought to pass this legislation. Both Minnesota Senators and my Congressman, Pete Stauber, voted in favor of the bill.