I’ve always felt that hunting has the ability to bring people together. Whether it’s helping another hunter find a lost bird or borrowing a couple shells to finish out the day, there’s a certain fellowship among outdoorsmen that seems to transcend personal or political beliefs. This week we got to see that fellowship in action as our nation’s senators put aside their differences to come together and pass the largest conservation bill in almost a century—the Great American Outdoors Act.

This bill, which will now head to the house of representatives for a final vote before going to the President’s desk, would contribute up to an additional $9.5 billion over the next five years to fund high-priority, deferred, maintenance projects in our national parks and public lands. It would also permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund with up to $900 million per year to provide funds and grants to federal, state, and local governments to support everything from municipal ballparks to wildlife habitats. 

And the best part? It won’t cost the taxpayers a dime as both programs are going to be fully funded from existing energy revenues from developments on federal lands. 

While no bill is perfect, the Great American Outdoors Act has broad bipartisan support and would be an incredible achievement for conservation. As hunters, we’re uniquely positioned and motivated to help guide the future of conservation in a direction that provides common sense protections for our public lands and wildlife habitats. Let’s make sure our voices are heard. Pheasants Forever has put together a great “call to action” to help hunters show our support for this bill. You can find it by clicking here. Also, if you’re interested in seeing how your senator voted and whether they supported the bill, you can view those records here

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