WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a leader on the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today voted in favor of the Great American Outdoors Act, legislation that supports deferred maintenance projects on federal lands and provides full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 73-25.

“Preserving our public lands for future generations is critical for both the economy and environment,” Senator Capito said. “Our outdoor recreation industry supports thousands of jobs and brings in billions to our state’s economy. This legislation will support that industry while protecting and maintaining federal, state, and private lands. It also includes provisions I have long championed to address the millions of dollars in deferred maintenance on National Park Service and Forest Service lands in our state. West Virginia is rich with natural resources and beauty, and by prioritizing these conservation efforts, we may finally get a handle on the backlog of federal land projects. The bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act is a win across the board and helps keep West Virginia wild and wonderful for years to come.”

Senator Capito has long advocated for permanent renewal and funding of the LWCF. She was a co-sponsor of legislation that permanently reauthorized the LWCF. That legislation was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump in March of 2019.

For the past two Congresses, Senator Capito has been a sponsor of the Restore Our Parks Act, legislation that will use revenues from energy production on federal lands to help pay for the maintenance backlog at national parks.


In 2018, West Virginia deferred maintenance costs totaled $61.8 million. This deficiency in funding means that the maintenance of historic sites like Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park, the New River Gorge National River, and the Gauley River National Recreation Area have delayed repairs for safe access and continued operation.

West Virginia has received approximately $246.2 million in LWCF funding over the past five decades. LWCF protects places such as the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Monongahela National Forest, the New River Gorge National River, and the White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery.

The Outdoor Industry Association found that active outdoor recreation generates $9 billion annually in consumer spending in West Virginia, supports 91,000 jobs across the state, and generates $2.4 billion in wages and salaries.


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