Trails in Shenandoah National Park were built 100 years ago and are in need of repair. Sarah L. Voisin / The Washington Post

USA - America’s Great Outdoors is Showing its Age. Congress is Proposing a Facelift.

A bill that would provide billions of dollars to the National Park Service, Forest Service and Land and Water Conservation Fund has been called one of the most important environmental proposals in decades.

Every 30 seconds in America, bulldozers pave over a green area the size of a football field. In the nation’s century-old parks system, there’s not enough money to fix crumbling roads, hiking trails and even restrooms, let alone preserve millions of acres of land.

The House is expected to approve a plan next week to invest nearly $2 billion per year to restore national parks, conserve land to ward off the impacts of climate change, and put parks and playgrounds in urban areas that sorely need them.

The Great American Outdoors Act, passed overwhelmingly in the Senate by a 73-to-25 vote on June 17, has been called one of the most important environmental bills in history because it could nearly eliminate a $12 billion National Park Service maintenance backlog and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for the first time since it was enacted in the 1960s.

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