Historic conservation bill aims to boost Va. parks, tourism

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 4:00 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Cherished national parks and recreational hubs in Virginia – and across the country – could soon be fixed up thanks to a historic investment from Congress.

Lawmakers just passed the Great American Outdoors Act this week with bipartisan support. That means more than a billion dollars in overdue maintenance projects in Virginia would be addressed.

Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner has been leading the charge on this bill for several years and says this could create 10,000 jobs in Virginia.

With the coronavirus, he says more people are drawn to tourism getaways involving camping, hiking and the outdoors.

“Virginia really has as much of American history as any state, and I’m really proud of the fact that this is going to be a real shot in the arm for so many communities across the commonwealth,” said Warner.

In addition to confronting the $12 billion in delayed maintenance projects at National Parks, the bill also permanently allocates money for the land and water conservation fund. The bill is widely viewed as a landmark victory for recreational and environmental groups.

The president has expressed his support for the bill and is expected to sign it into law soon.

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