Trump set to sign landmark Great American Outdoors Act

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President Trump is set to sign the Great American Outdoors Act on Tuesday morning – bipartisan legislation that's been heralded as the most significant conservation bill in a generation.

The president, Vice President Pence, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Sens. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., are all expected to give remarks prior to the signing.

WHAT IS THE GREAT AMERICAN OUTDOORS ACT?

Several senior administration officials, members of Congress, leaders from the Park Service, and various business executives from the fishing and gaming industry will also be in attendance.

That list includes Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and an adviser who was an outspoken advocate for the passage of the bill.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made us value, now more than ever, the national treasure that is our parks and the respite they afford our families," she said in a statement. "President Trump has secured funding for the next 100 years to preserve our national and public lands and return them to their grandeur."

"I look forward to joining the president and members of Congress, Sens. Gardner and Daines, who we worked with to pass this historic conservation legislation," she said.

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2016 file photo visitors watch the morning sun illuminate the Grand Tetons from within the Great Room at the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park north of Jackson, Wyo.  (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley,File)

FILE – In this Aug. 28, 2016 file photo visitors watch the morning sun illuminate the Grand Tetons from within the Great Room at the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park north of Jackson, Wyo. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley,File)

The bill had 59 cosponsors in the Senate, 42 Democrats, 15 Republicans and two independents. The Senate passed the legislation 73-25 in June, and the House passed it 310-107.

The act will provide repairs to park infrastructure, permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and create an additional 100,000 direct and indirect jobs, officials say.

The National Park Service accounts for 84 million acres of land at 400 different sites. But as of 2019, there was $11.9 billion in deferred maintenance and repairs needed. The bill will direct up to $6.65 billion to priority repairs and up to $3 billion for other agencies like the Fish and Wildlife Service.

In addition, the bill will allocate $900 million each year to the LWCF. The program – which has existed for half a century – has been plagued by funding shortfalls.

Daines called it the “legislation of a generation” and Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., said the act supports the “twin goals of protecting America’s crown jewels and repairing deteriorating infrastructure.”

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Some have criticized the bill's broad scope – including Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who argued his state would be “disproportionately harmed” by it.

The administration says the effort is a continuation of the president's efforts to preserve public lands.

In 2018, the president signed an executive order on "Promoting Active Management of America’s Forests, Rangelands, and other Federal Lands to Improve Conditions and Reduce Wildfire Risk." In March 2019, Trump also signed off on a sweeping lands package that reauthorized the LWCF.

In June, the Department of the Interior announced the annual economic benefit of national parks totaled over $41 billion and visitor spending increased by $800 million from 2018 to 2019.

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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance has fallen in America's parks as much as 40% from April 2019, according to The Wall Street Journal. This cash influx from the act could be a critical step at a challenging time.

"Today’s action is the most significant lands conservation accomplishment since President Teddy Roosevelt, and it is the single largest investment in America’s national parks and public lands in United States history," a senior White House official stated.

Fox News' Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.

Original Article