Letter from U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger: Great American Outdoors Act 'a huge win for public lands'

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DIXON, IL, August 10, 2020 | comments
Congressman Kinzinger pens a letter to the editor for Sauk Valley Media about the Great Outdoors.
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To the Editor:

After months of quarantines and social distancing in our homes, getting outside into nature has never felt so important to our daily lives and so necessary for our mental health.

While we continue to fight this coronavirus pandemic and respect safety guidelines, it’s important to take advantage of the opportunity we have to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.

On July 23, I joined my U.S. House colleagues in voting for the Great American Outdoors Act, a bipartisan bill that funds the conservation and protection of our national parks.

This landmark measure received strong bipartisan support in Congress and was signed into law by the resident last week, marking a huge win for our public lands, outdoor recreation, and economy as a whole.

This major victory for nature came to Congress during National Park and Recreation Month, a time for Americans to celebrate our nation’s treasured places and recognize the importance of preserving them for generations to come.

Our bipartisan effort to invest in our national treasures, and the communities that surround them, was a critical one.

This much-needed funding will restore our national parks and address overdue repairs, and it will help the economy through job creation and tourism revenue.

Like many Americans, I have found myself eager to get outside and enjoy the solace of nature during these stressful and uncertain times. And no matter where you are in the country, there is a park or trail or cultural site to explore.

Here in Illinois, we have five national parks and two national heritage areas, including the Abraham Lincoln NHA, which was extended earlier this year by a measure I co-authored in Congress.

Illinois has many National Park Service sites and several great state-owned public lands, like Starved Rock State Park, in the 16th Congressional District.

Illinois also has other protected lands, like the Nachusa Grasslands, which is owned and operated by The Nature Conservancy in Franklin Grove. I’m proud to represent this impressive preserve site in Congress and know the Great American Outdoors Act will make a significant impact on their conservation efforts.

Last year, I visited and toured the grounds and was amazed by the work they do to restore and protect these 3,800 acres of prairie, woodlands, and wetlands and care for the many different inhabitants. I encourage you all to take a visit, and I know I’ll be looking forward to visiting again in the future.

America is a beautiful country, from her stunning landscapes, rich history and cultural sites, to the opportunities she provides us to go explore these wonderful places, we’re lucky to call it home.

This land is our land, so let’s take care of it.

Congressman Adam Kinzinger, Illinois-16, of Channahon

Please visit Sauk Valley New's website here to read the entire op-ed. And all of Congressman Kinzinger’s op-ed pieces can be found on his website here.

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