Landmark legislation will protect grandeur of our public lands
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today voted in support of Senate amendments to H.R. 1957, the Great American Outdoors Act, legislation that will establish an account to reduce the deferred maintenance backlog to protect America’s national parks and public lands, and make the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) a mandatory spending program.
“America’s national parks and public lands are our crown jewels. They are free and they belong to all Americans,” said Rep. Pascrell. “But our precious parks have been in need of restoration. The deferred maintenance backlog of projects has continued to grow year after year. In North Jersey we know very well the priceless value of public lands as we enjoy the unparalleled beauty of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, which helps attract more visitors to Paterson year after year, improving our local economy. Thanks to the Great American Outdoors Act, we can build on the investments throughout our national park systems.
“Our lands are more important than ever during this pandemic to give Americans and families a chance to get out and breathe in fresh air. This legislation will help preserve and protect our unmatched national parks for our children and their children after that. American parks and lands must be free and beautiful forever.”
A lifelong supporter of the environment and national parks, Rep. Pascrell was the proud sponsor of legislation that designated Paterson Great Falls a National Historical Park. The language from the bill was incorporated into the larger Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009, which was signed into law by President Obama in March of 2009. Upon the completion of land use agreements between the State, City and Federal Government, the Great Falls officially became a part of the United States' National Park System. The passage of this legislation was the realization of one of Rep. Pascrell’s top goals since first becoming a Member of Congress.