Idaho’s National Forests have some of the largest deferred maintenance needs, such as roads and trails, while Yellowstone National Park has over $585 million in deferred maintenance costs. The bill does not spend taxpayer funds but instead utilizes existing funding from energy production on federal lands and waters. The legislation is based off a framework of bipartisan legislation the Congressman Simpson originally authored in 2017 called the LAND Act. The bill is supported by both Idaho and national conservation groups in addition to President Trump.
The bill has a wide range of support from sportsmen groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt. Secretary Bernhardt recently penned an op-ed in The Hill that notes the Great American Outdoors Act is, “the most significant legislative accomplishment for conservation stewardship.”