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Funding for Federal Recreation Lands


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Currently, Congress is in the process of approving the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA).  Below is an excerpt from the website article on Recreational Vehicle Industry Association.  As a camper, this legislation will have a direct impact on our camping experiences across the US.  It directly impacts every state in the US, all states has property that will receive federal dollars for improvements.   You may want to consider contacting your US Congressional Representative regarding support for this legislation. To read the entire article, go to:  

https://www.rvia.org/news-insights/senate-passes-landmark-great-american-outdoors-act  

Today the U.S. Senate took significant action to address campground modernization and deferred maintenance on public lands with the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) by a vote of 73-25. The bill, which now heads to the House of Representatives for approval, will provide the largest investment in our iconic public lands in over a century. GAOA will invest up to $9.5 billion of nontaxpayer funds to address the infrastructure within the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and other federal agencies. The bill will also fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and provide $900 million per year in investment in the public lands, parks, and trails that are the backbone of the outdoor recreation economy. 

“As national parks and forests across the country look to safely reopen, it’s encouraging to see the overwhelming support of Senators recognizing the need to direct significant funds toward critical deferred maintenance and campground modernization needs on our public lands and waters,” said Craig Kirby, RV Industry Association President. “We are grateful to the 73 Senators who voted today to pass the Great American Outdoors Act and address these issues through this landmark legislation that supports outdoor recreation and conservation in our most treasured lands for generations to come.”

HAPPY CAMPING !!!

Coy 

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The government giving $9.5 billion in nontaxpayer funds makes me wonder where is the money coming from?  I would certainly agree that all federal lands are in need of funds for infrastructure upgrades and or repair.  But the federal deficit was $207 billion in May 2020.  So I’ll ask again, where is the $9,500,000,000 in nontaxpayer dollars coming from?  If we aren’t paying for it, who is?

I would certainly hate to see a McDonald's on the South Rim, but since I haven’t been to the Grand Canyon since 1998, they may already be there.  I can see the RVIA and the state of Indiana supporting this, it should help sell more RV's.  But I do think there is more to this story than we are reading on the RVIA website.

Hoping for the best,

Mossey

 

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6 hours ago, hardrock said:

. GAOA will invest up to $9.5 billion of nontaxpayer funds to address the infrastructure within the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and other federal agencies. The bill will also fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and provide $900 million per year in investment in the public lands, parks, and trails that are the backbone of the outdoor recreation economy. 

“As national parks and forests across the country look to safely reopen, it’s encouraging to see the overwhelming support of Senators recognizing the need to direct significant funds

The article did specify nontaxpayer funds for the 9.5 billion.

I don't know what that means. Concessionaire fees that go elsewhere? I'm not sure.

I suspect we'll see increased use of national parks this year, due to the public feeling that outdoors is the safer place to be with the Corona virus specter hovering. Some of them do need significant upgrades. We've all seen that, who have camped in some of them.

I see a possibility for this conversation to go sideways, into the political realm. It isn't there now, but let's be measured and thoughtful in responses.  I'd like to see the conversation continue. Sans politics,  of course.

Sherry

 

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Posted (edited)

I agree with Sherry, this is an interesting topic for most of us but could get political real fast.  Since one of our goals is to visit as many national parks as we can I’ve been keeping up on NP funding.  

National Parks generate income through entrance fees, camping fees and other fees.  They also get a part of concessions that operate on the park.  Foundations provide dollars for projects.  Donations are also part of park funds.  I think this latest funding initiative, through the Great American Outdoors Act, will be getting funding through the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  The LWCF is funded mainly through taxes on off shore drilling.  From what I’ve read, Congressmen Gardener (CO) and Daines  (MT) visited the president in February to lobby for better funding for our national parks.  The president then asked congress (actually through a tweet in early March) for a bill to do that and in a bi-partisan (92-8) effort they delivered the GAOA which the president then signed.  

So, while the additional funding doesn’t look like money from individual taxpayers it is from taxes and fees on offshore drilling.  At least that is my understanding.  Either way, more funding for our parks is a good thing and will help preserve what we enjoy today for our kids and grandkids.  Mike

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I assume that things like tariffs, fees, interest income, etc. are non-taxpayer funds.  It probably doesn't make up a large percentage of government income, but then $9.5 billion is about 0.0027% of the $3.5 trillion the government takes in.  

I think that the NPS repair backlog is something in the neighborhood of $12 billion, so this money doesn't even get everything fixed.  Years of underfunding has taken its toll.  

It's an interesting question why the funding is specifically non-taxpayer.  I'd hope that it has something to do with the accounting rather than any political reason.  I mean, if you were to ask the average person what percentage of their taxes should go toward maintaining national parks, I dare say that number would be considerably higher than 0.0027%.

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To further assist in understanding the funding of this legislation, below is a excerpt from CONGRESS.GOV

With this, you may have a better understanding of the funding of the spending on this legislation.  Please note, I have posted this as information, neither advocating nor dissenting support.  My goal is to make members aware that the legislation is being voted upon and as citizens you can decide whether or not to support.  If you need further information, you can access many articles on the legislation. 

S.3422 - Great American Outdoors Act116th Congress (2019-2020) | Get alerts

Sponsor: Sen. Gardner, Cory [R-CO] (Introduced 03/09/2020)
Latest Action: Senate - 03/10/2020 Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 438.  (All Actions)

Go to:

 

Summary: S.3422 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.3422. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (03/09/2020)

Great American Outdoors Act

This bill establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to support deferred maintenance projects on federal lands.

For FY2021-FY2025, there shall be deposited into the fund an amount equal to 50% of all federal revenues from the development of oil, gas, coal, or alternative or renewable energy on federal lands and waters. Deposited amounts must not exceed $1.9 billion for any fiscal year.

The fund must be used for priority deferred maintenance projects in specified systems that are administered by

  • the National Park Service,
  • the Forest Service,
  • the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
  • the Bureau of Land Management, and
  • the Bureau of Indian Education.

The Government Accountability Office must report on the effect of the fund in reducing the backlog of priority deferred maintenance projects for the specified agencies.

Additionally, the bill makes funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) permanent. The President shall annually report to Congress specified details regarding the allocation of funds to the LWCF. Congress may provide for alternate allocations using specified procedures.

Congress.gov

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

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Thanks, Hardrock. 

Those of us who camp on federal lands know many of the need maintenance.  

Sherry 

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I just hope the money is spent on repairs and where its needed, and not on making two medicine into a campground for pull-through 5th wheel parking or more stuff for concessionaires to gouge on.

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Thank you Coy for the link to the information at Congress.gov.  And the following statement clarifies that the non taxpayer funds will probably be coming from oil and gas drilling, mining for coal and maybe hydroelectric dams on federal lands and waters.

For FY2021-FY2025, there shall be deposited into the fund an amount equal to 50% of all federal revenues from the development of oil, gas, coal, or alternative or renewable energy on federal lands and waters. Deposited amounts must not exceed $1.9 billion for any fiscal year.
 

Now what I don’t know is if this from current energy infrastructure or new development to come.  If it is new development, I personally would rather see usage fees increased and no new energy development on any federal lands.  I never thought of the idea of National Parks or other federal lands was to save the natural resources so they could be sold to the highest bidder at some later date.  Somehow that doesn’t sound the the NPS's statement.

Our Mission

The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.

Mossey

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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6 hours ago, mossemi said:

...I would certainly hate to see a McDonald's on the South Rim, but since I haven’t been to the Grand Canyon since 1998, they may already be there....

Mossey

 

Too late there's a Wendy's and a McDonald's.

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Challenge 

For those of you that have read this post, for those of you that have a concern about improvements in Federal prosperities and where the funding comes from: HAVE YOU CONTACTED YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES?

 Please  note - In this post I have not expressed my personal opinion, given you guidance on what to say to your Congressional Representative or otherwise given personal opinion(s).  As a democracy, we can bring  about change.  In my career, I visited Capital Hill in DC many times to seek support for specific bills that provided funding  to US Department of Defense.  Our company had offices, employees and production facilities in 38 states.  I was always surprised and pleased when Congressional Representatives were grateful to learn about how funding of specific programs provided employment in their district and supported a stronger defense for our nation.  
Contacting  your Congressional Representatives and letting them know about your concerns is your right and a part of your freedom. 
coy 

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21 hours ago, ScubaRx said:

Too late there's a Wendy's and a McDonald's.

Well, gentle readers (with special attention to Mossey), I must confess that I erred in my previous statement. With a little more digging and some "gentle persuasion" from my good friend 'Hardrock', it has come to my attention that the Wendy's and McDonald's is not, in fact, located within the confines of the Grand Canyon -South Rim NP. Rather they are located at Tusayan, AZ, about two miles from the South Entrance.  I hope we can all breathe a little easier with this knowledge. Sorry for the confusion.   :classic_love:

Seriously, I have contacted my representative in regards to this issue.

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Well that is good news, especially this close to my bed time.  I shall sleep easier tonight knowing the Golden Arches won’t be polluting the dark skies of the canyon.  And after cutting the grass today in near 90° heat, I sure would've enjoyed one of Dave's chocolate Frostys.

Mossey

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