Senator Lamar Alexander said on Friday that Tennessee will receive significant funding this year from the Great American Outdoors Act – legislation the senator sponsored and the president signed into law that will cut in half maintenance backlog in our national parks, national forests and other public lands. The new law also fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) permanently, a goal of Congress since 1964.
Senator Alexander said, “The Great American Outdoors Act is the most important and significant conservation and outdoor recreation legislation in 50 years.
It is the largest federal investment in national parks since the Eisenhower years. This law will cut in half the $12 billion maintenance backlog in our national parks and national forests and other public lands, fixing pot holes, leaky roofs, trails, roads, visitor centers and campgrounds. For the Smokies that means substantially reducing a $224 million backlog, which is ten times the Smokies’ annual budget. The new law also fully and permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), an unrealized goal of Congress and the conservation community since 1964. Fully funding the LWCF was also a recommendation of President Reagan’s Commission on Americans Outdoors, which I chaired in 1985.
"I’m thrilled that Tennessee will receive a significant amount of funding this year from the Great American Outdoors Act this year. The Department of the Interior announced today the Smokies will receive funding from the new law to replace the Sugarlands maintenance buildings and rehabilitate 17 miles of the Foothills Parkway in Blount County. Additionally, the new law will provide up to $1.36 million for Land and Water Conservation Fund projects in three national park units across our state, including at the Fort Donelson National Battlefield, Shiloh National Military Park and Stones River National Battlefield. This funding will help ensure even more Tennesseans – and Americans across the country – enjoy the outdoors.”
The U.S. Department of the Interior today released the list of funding national parks across the country will receive for maintenance projects for Fiscal Year 2021 – the first of five years of funding. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will receive funding to replace the Sugarlands maintenance buildings and rehabilitate 17 miles of the Foothills Parkway in Blount County. The Department also released the list of funding for Land and Water Conservation projects throughout the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Tennessee will be receiving about $1.36 million to preserve and protect Fort Donelson National Battlefield, Shiloh National Military Park and the Stones River National Battlefield.