Maui News

Gabbard Cosponsors Bill to Protect Public Lands

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US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. File photo. 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) cosponsored H.R.7092, the Great American Outdoors Act, to help fund important restoration and conservation work on public lands such as national parks. The bill allocates funds to the National Parks Service and other departments to pursue projects critical to the maintenance of public lands and recreation areas across the country.

“In my home state of Hawai‘i and across the United States, we stand in awe of nature and some of the most magnificent sites in the world. Yet, many of these celebrated public spaces are under threat. Once destroyed, they can never be brought back. It is vital for so many reasons that we work to preserve treasures like Hawaiʻi’s unique and incredible national parks. Through this initiative, our cherished cultural sites and other public lands will be protected, ensuring that millions of Americans can continue to explore the great outdoors for generations to come,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

Background: In 2018, national parks recorded 318 million visits. These visits create over $20 billion in direct spending, support over 329,000 jobs, and generate over $40 billion in total economic output. Nationally, outdoor recreation contributes $778 billion in consumer spending and supports 5.2 million jobs. Components of the Great American Outdoors Act alone will support over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs for Americans.

The bill will also fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund that has provided $249 million for protection projects at Hawai‘i Volcanoes and Haleakalā National Parks, James Campbell, and Hakalau National Wildlife Refuges, and Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historic Park.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been a vocal advocate for the environment and public lands throughout her time in Congress, earning an A rating from the Outdoors Industry Association in 2018 and a 100% rating from the National Parks Action Fund in the 116th Congress. In 2019 she voted to support a public lands package that promotes conservation, outdoor recreation, historic preservation, and cultural resource protection in Hawai‘i and across the country.

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