Trump signs the Great American Outdoors Act
Ladies and gentlemen. The president, of the united. States. Thank you very much. Thank. You. Well thank you very much. Please. Great honor to have you at the white house and. We're here today to celebrate, the passage. Of truly, landmark. Legislation. That will preserve, america's, majestic. Natural. Wonders. Priceless, historic. Treasures, and that's exactly, what they are. Grand national, monuments, and glorious, national, parks. This is a very big deal and, from an environmental, standpoint. And from just the beauty of our country's standpoint. There hasn't been anything like this since, teddy roosevelt, i suspect. In a few moments, i will proudly, sign the great american. Outdoors. Act, into law. And so many of the people here today, have been. So involved, and i'll be introducing, you and. Some will say a few words and we really appreciate, what you've done for our country. For more than 50 years congress, has struggled, to adequately, fund, land and water conservation. Leading to a never-ending. Backlog, of maintenance, and other critical needs, in our parks and public lands and i've been hearing about this for years. I've been watching it and hearing about it for years. Today more than five thousand, five hundred miles of roads, seventeen, thousand, miles of trails and twenty four thousand. Buildings. Are in, critical, need of repair, they have been for a long time. Many are closed, boarded up. They thought it was less expensive. To. Close them than it was to repair, them some are magnificent. Too. Earlier, this year i called in congress, to pass legislation. That would end this, maintenance, backlog. Once and for all. Today we're making the most significant, investment, in our park since the administration. Of the legendary. Conservationist. President, theodore. Roosevelt. This landmark, legislation. Would not have, been possible. Without the incredible, leadership, and hard work of two outstanding, senators, in particular. And two fine people. Corey gardner, and steve daines, i want to thank you both. And i can just say as a side note. They would call me all the time. And i said can you guys stop calling me so much. But they would call me all the time they wanted to get it done this was very important to him so. I appreciate, it steve and corey, really a great job people thought you had zero chance of getting this one done this is big. And they they gave you zero chance you know that right, don't waste your time on a president, we have other things to do. Be great if we could get it but it's never going to happen. Congratulations. Great job thank you. I also want to thank senators, rob portman. Lamar, alexander. Martha mcsally. John hoffman. And representatives. Don young. Jeff fortenberry. And tom reed and i think they're all here right yes hi rob. Thank you, thank, you. We're honored also to be joined by vice president, mike pence, interior, secretary, david bernhardt, agricultural. Secretary, sonny perdue. A person named ivanka, trump does everybody know, who's been very very active in this she believes in her very strongly and many wonderful, conservation. Advocates. And thank you all for your tireless, work, and, the work you've done is something that you'll be very proud of in the years to come thank you mike everybody, thank you very, much. The great american, outdoors, act provides, 900, million dollars, a year. In guaranteed, funding, for the land and water conservation. Fund so that all americans, can continue, to enjoy our parks. Wildlife. Refuges. I mean you look at this you look at what we do with our wildlife. And uh it's really been incredible, so, all of the wildlife. Areas, the wildlife. Parks. Historic, battlefields. National, monuments. And public lands. Additionally, this bill provides, nearly, 10 billion dollars, for. Long delayed, maintenance, projects, repairs, and upgrades, to make the national, parks greater than they have ever been before, i think that's going to happen. The, legislation. I'm signing. Today, builds on my administration's. Unwavering, commitment, to. Conserving. And. The grandeur. And the splendor. Of god's creation. This is truly god's creation. Last year i designated. 1.3, million acres of public land as new wilderness. I ordered much more, active forest management, to prevent catastrophic. Wildfires. I'm recommending, they do that in california, and other locations. And you'll, see how quickly the wildfires. Stop. And i signed the, save our seazac, to protect, our environment, from, foreign nations.
That Litter the oceans, with garbage, and pollution. The united, states is among the cleanest, air and water on earth, and my administration. Is working every day to keep it that way, we're at a level now we have never been at this level in. The modern age. I guess if you go back 100, 200, years. It was a little different story, a lot fewer people. But nothing. Even close, in the modern age. We are proving that we can protect, our treasured, environment, without. Bludgeoning, our workers, and crushing, our businesses. And we're, standing, up to, international. Tribunals. That punish americans, while allowing, foreign nations. To pollute, with, impunity, we have other nations, china. Russia. India, many other nations. That. Are not doing, the job, they should be. And we do it, it's very costly. Costs our businesses, a lot of money. It's probably, not fair. And. The impact, is much. More, is, smaller it's minimal, by comparison, to what it could be, but we're working with other countries, to try and get them to. Up their game. We believe, americans, know best how to conserve. This magnificent. Land that we love and cherish, and adore. Earlier, this year i announced, that the united, states would join the 1 trillion, trees initiative, to plant new trees in america, around the world. Today i'm calling on congress, to expand this effort by passing. The replant. Act, sponsored, by. Senator, rob portman, thank you rob very good. Thank you. Thank you. Fellas we, both stand up please, that's fantastic. Thank you. Thank you thank you john. Thank you rob. Which would quadruple. The funding, and for the restoration. Of our national, forest this would, quadruple, the funding. Create thousands, of jobs and help plant. More than one billion trees. In america, and on american soil over the next 10 years. When you add all of this to what we did in utah, if you remember, that that was, a year and a half ago. But we did uh, bear's, ears, national, monument, when you add all of this to bears ears. I would say and, it got my attention, when. Steve, and, and. The whole group came up to my office. When you, actually both of you came up with a group and you said this would be bigger. Than, theodore, roosevelt, i said do me a favor, you don't have to say that let's just say. It will be the same. Or almost, as good because he was truly the great conservation. President. But the kind of things we've done and and, they don't talk about it but the kind of things we've done are really record-setting. This is record-setting. Stuff and you're all a big part of it so thank you and thank you rob great job. To preserve, america's, brilliance, for the next generation, we're also defending, our national, heritage. In june i signed an executive, order requiring, the department, of justice, to prosecute, to the full extent. Extent, allowed under law, anyone who defaces, our historic, statues, or monuments. Under my order these criminals, face, 10 years, in jail. 10 years in prison. And it was an incredible, thing because we're having a lot of problems, all over the country. With people going around and. Knocking down monuments. Some very beautiful, monuments. And they were, knocking, them down. With impunity. As they would say and. Once i signed that i haven't seen anything happen. It's amazing, david the way it quieted down right. Once i signed that it was about two months ago now and, we haven't had they were having a march on washington, to knock down a lot of monuments, and i signed it before the march we announced it at a news conference. That you go to jail for 10 years if you knocked down a monument, and the, march to washington, never happened. I don't know that's strange, how that all works isn't it though isn't that a beautiful, thing. After decades, of abandonment, and neglect. We're once again, taking care of america's, historic, sites. Lush forests, towering, mountains. Windswept. And beautiful, windswept. Prairies, and precious, wetlands, and wildlife. President, theodore roosevelt, was right when he called these exquisite, resources, the most glorious, heritage.
A People ever received. President, roosevelt. Understood, that our nation's, untamed, spirit of adventure. Exploration. And discovery. Is kindled, in the great outdoors. It's the same spirit that calls settlers, and pioneers, to head west. To, brave, the unknown. And to carve out a new life on the wild frontier. The president, understood. And. Enshrined. Conservation. At the heart of. The republican. Party. And today we're building upon that noble legacy, the republican, party has been. Unbelievably. Active. And those people don't necessarily. Associate. Us with that but i think they probably will have to start at some point they'll have to start thinking about the republican, party. And all of the incredible, things we've done on conservation. And many other fronts. We want every american, child to have access, to pristine, outdoor, spaces. When young americans, experience, the breathtaking. Beauty of the grand canyon. When their eyes widen in amazement, as old faithful, bursts into the sky. When they gaze upon. Yosemites. Yosemites. Towering. Sequoias. Their love of country grows stronger, and they, know that every american, has truly. A duty, to preserve, this wondrous, inheritance. And that's what they're doing and that's what we're doing we're preserving, an incredible. Inheritance. America's. Natural, landscapes, belong, to the american, people. And while i'm president, we will always protect, the great outdoors, for, hunting, fishing, camping, hiking. And the, admiration. Enjoyment. And reverence, of every, american, citizen. We will preserve, the stunning, beauty of the american. And the americas. And this nation, this nation is a special, nation. I was watching, the other day nasa, nasa, was, essentially, closed down. And now i'm watching. Those. Rockets, go up. And it's a beautiful, thing to see on over the weekend we just saw the. The capsule. And how professional, how brave they were. But how professional, it was handled, professionally. And it was really something to behold, but we, started, up nasa again. And very soon we'll be going to mars. And we are very importantly. We created, the space force. And nasa will be a big part of that, so that's defense, that's not going to mars that's defending, our country. And it's something that's, very very important, what we've done when i, first went. To the. Headquarters. And i went with mike. And i looked at runways, that were. Loaded up with weeds. That hadn't been used, it was almost, like an abandoned. An abandoned, place. And now i look at it i was there. Two months ago. And it was an incredible, site so different, so vibrant. People working people happy. It's, really something what they've done, but that's another thing that we've done and it's. Something i'm very proud of. With that i'd like to again congratulate. Everybody in this room and we're going to have a few people speak and i'd like to start off with our great vice president, mike pence. And mike if you'd say a few words and then we're going to go to a couple of other folks okay good thank you very. Much. Well thank you mr president thank you for letting me speak for just a few moments, about this historic. Day. Today thanks to your leadership, thanks to the vision. Of members of the senate and the house of representatives. Today you will sign into law the great american, outdoors, act, which will be the single. Largest, investment. In america's. National, parks and public. Lands, in the history, of this country. And i know i speak, for. All of those gathered here but but, every american, who cherishes, all of our great. Natural. Resources. When i say thank you for your leadership, i also mr president want to, join you in thanking, the visionary, leaders, of the, of the senate senator steve daines senator corey gardner, we would not be here, without, your vision, for the great american. Outdoors, act, thank you for helping to preserve. Our great natural. Heritage. And to all the distinguished, members of the senate and the house of representatives, who supported this bill as well as secretary, bernhardt, secretary, perdue.
Members, Of the fish and wildlife, the forest, service, uh and all the people that work in our national parks i i will tell you mr president, uh. As you know uh mrs pence and i, spent a lot of time, loading our kids in the minivans, driving, out we visited. Almost, every major, national, park that was the pence family, vacation. And uh. Karen has been visiting national, parks as we've begun to. Open. Back up our country. Again, and uh, i'm proud to say uh as an early installment. Of uh of this incredible, investment, in maintenance secretary, bernhardt. Had the pences, actually, pounding, nails, and, rebuilding. The boardwalk, at old faithful, just, last. Year, and so i want to thank the secretary, in particular, for his great, commitment to preserving, our parks and our natural heritage. Mr president. The american people know we have the best national parks, in the, world. But the truth is under the last administration. We saw a backlog. Of maintenance, for all the talk about the environment, we saw projects. Left aside, and ignored. Literally, 20, billion, dollars of work. Left to be done. But thanks to your, leadership, mr president. And thanks to the great american, outdoors, act all those who supported it those, days, are. Over. With these resources. Mr president. You're not only going to, revive. And restore, our parks 9.5. Billion, dollars. Over the next five years in a new fund without spending a dime of taxpayer. Funds but also we're told. I know you'll be happy to know mr president, that this will also. We believe, create more than 110. 000. Infrastructure. Jobs as we improve our national, parks. We're putting americans, back to work. So. President as you know i've long believed that uh faith, and freedom and our vast natural, resources. Uh are the pillars, of america's. Greatness. You've been dedicated, from the first days of this administration. To. Preserving, all of our god-given, ideals, and our values but today. By signing, this uh, extraordinary. And historic bill the great american outdoors, act, uh you're making a commitment to preserve. All of our natural, blessings, from. Sea to shining sea for generations. To come. And on behalf of, a grateful nation mr president, thank you for your leadership, for conservation. Of our great. Treasures. Thank you. A man who's done a fantastic. Job secretary, of the interior, david if you could come up and say a few words, and, he really has he has been, he loves it. He loves the interior, he's our biggest landlord, in this country by a factor of about, 200. But he's really. Some it's really been very special, having you, working for our country thank you very much, thank you. Thank you. I want to begin, by thanking not only you. But the first lady. The vice president. The second lady. And the adviser to the president, ivanka, trump, each of you have contributed, greatly. To getting to this moment and i want you to know that america. Deeply. Appreciates, it. Now washington, dc. Is a place. Where you find hyperbole. On every, single, corner. But the legislation. You're about to sign. Is truly, consequential. And it is historic. For those of you that do not trans. Uh, track. Conservation. History, on a daily, basis. I thought i would give you a little perspective. About. 35, years ago, to the day. On august 15. 1985. President, reagan. In this building. Made a. Appointment. Of a young governor. In tennessee. To lead. The, commission. To look at, america's. Great outdoors. Two years later. That governor from tennessee. Would provide the president. A proposal. That included, numerous, things including. An idea. To permanently. Fund. With a dedicated, funding source. Land and water conservation, initiatives. That governor. Is now senator. Lamar alexander, and he's here. Today. Last night i added it up. Five presidents. Nine secretaries, of the interior. And ten secretaries, of agriculture. Have worked. On legislation. To accomplish. Fully funding the land and water conservation, fund. Or enhancing. Our, nation's. Parks by addressing, the backlog. Only one president. Has gotten that done, and that is you. The reality, is absent your call for bold leadership. And stepping, forward. This bill. Would not have become law, despite, the, efforts of everybody else and i want you to know. That america. Will deeply. Deeply, appreciate, it, thank you for your leadership. Thank you david i appreciate, it very much and appreciate, the job you're doing and, also, sonny i appreciate, the job you're doing fantastic, job. The farmers are very happy they've gotten billions, and billions of dollars, compliments, of china. They were targeted, by china and i got them every penny, 28, billion dollars, from china. And they're doing well. I'd like to ask if i might steve could you come up senator, steve danes, he's a. Fantastic, man a fantastic, senator he's done. A wonderful, job he loves this state and he loves our country.
And Without, you and uh, the two of you with corey, and you and, rob and frankly everybody, in this room but you two guys were just unbelievable. You wouldn't stop and, uh look what happened right you got it done i'm not even sure if you believed you could get it done. But you got it done, and we appreciate, it the country appreciates, it steve please. Thank you mr president. Uh this, really is a great, day, for montana. This is a great day for, america. This is a great day for conservation. And all of us who love, the great outdoors. And it was a little over five months ago mr president. Where we came to the white house. And we were in the roosevelt, room it's only fitting we were in the roosevelt, room having this meeting. And we talked about the importance, of the great america, outdoors, act. How we needed to, support, our national parks as the secretary. Just laid out to had been neglected, many ways with maintenance it was this backlog. How we needed to provide better access. To our public lands. In fact 70, percent of the fishing accesses. In montana. Are funded, by the land and water conservation, fund. This was going to be the greatest, achievement, in 50, years, for conservation. In its broadest context. And you said to me mr president. He said. You get this bill on my desk. And i'll sign it. Well five months later we're here. And thanks to so many in this room and outside this room. We got this bill to your desk. And you're going to sign it this is a big, win for conservation. It's a big win for jobs. It's a big win for our montana, way of life. It's a big win for. Bipartisanship. And. Perhaps, it's only fitting, it took public, lands. To bring, a divided, government, together. Mr president. Montana. Thanks, you. America. Thanks you. And i thank you. For signing. The most important, piece of conservation, legislation, in over 50 years for our great country. Thank. Thank you, great job. Thank you steve. Great job thank you say hello to the people of montana, they are they're very happy right now. You know there's a very terrible, term it's called deferred, maintenance. Deferred, maintenance doesn't sound good but this is what it is, we haven't maintained. Our. Our roads our. Paths, our buildings. Any of it for many many decades, actually. So. Now you're going to go to town and they're going to be beautiful, right they're going to be beautiful but this is really it's a. It's deferred, maintenance, and it should have taken place. For many many decades, but it hasn't. And now it will take place and i think you'll see it take place very wisely, too, i think so. So corey i think you have to get up and you have to say a few words colorado's. A, tremendous, state and they are pushing for it and they have been pushing for it one of the biggest beneficiaries.
Of All. And uh, i think that you really deserve to get up and say a few words because you and steve, and. Everybody, but you and steve were very special, please. Senator corey gardner. Thank you mr president. Uh, thank you mr president i will never forget, uh that moment five months ago when we, gathered with so many of the people who are in this room and talked about the importance of this legislation. The fact that this bill would create over a hundred thousand jobs. The fact that many of those jobs would be in some of the communities, that were hardest hit, today by the pandemic. Uh is a remarkable, occasion but it was 127. Years ago mr president in 1893. That catherine, lee bates. Climbed to top pike's peak, and she looked across, the plains and mountains of colorado, and wrote the words to america the beautiful. 127. Years later. We passed the great american outdoors, act which will truly protect. And provide, opportunities, for all america to enjoy. Those wonders. Of this country, that katherine lee bates, wrote about then, this bill will create a hundred thousand jobs, several thousand in my home state of colorado, will protect the forest service our fish and wildlife. Service, our wildlife, refuges. Our blm, grounds this will work on our national parks this will stop congress from stealing. The money that they have for decades, and put it back into. The national parks, for generations. To come. To the secretaries, who are secretary of purdue secretary bernhard thank you for your leadership, in getting this done, to my colleagues in the senate and the house thank you for your leadership we stand on the shoulders of people like lamar alexander. Rob portman, and don young people like richard burr, thanks to joe manchin and mark warner and angus king and the work that they did, to get this bill here today this is a remarkable. Opportunity to celebrate, in the midst, of acrimony. In the midst of partisanship. In the midst of times when the american people probably look out and wonder if they can get anything done. Congress came together to pass the most significant, bill, the great american outdoors act in over 50 years with the largest infusion of funding this country has ever seen. Thanks to mr you mr president for being willing to sign it when we walked into the roosevelt, room. And we showed you the pictures, of black canyon of the gunnison national park and we pointed at that painting. Of teddy roosevelt. We knew it was going to be something very special for this country. Thank you for making it. Happen. That was a, meeting that took place and within about a minute. I was convinced. And i wasn't at all convinced before i walked in but when we, saw what was going on and what could go on and i know you'll spend the money very wisely, everybody, in the room you'll spend it very wisely. Because if you spend it wisely you'll be able to do five times more than you even think. I'd like to ask ivanka to come up just say a few words because she was, from a family standpoint, she was so behind this and. Pushing me and, melania. Who sends her absolute, warmest regards, it was so important to melania. Please honey come. Up. Well thank you mr president, and, i, echo the sentiments, conveyed, by by so many in this room. This, is. A day for great celebration. This, is an extraordinary. Piece of legislation. That will. Be, a great legacy.
For This administration. And most importantly. The country, we're grateful, to everyone who worked on it, i think theodore, roosevelt. Who, we see, on this portrait, behind would be very proud to know, that the first 100, years. Of conservation. That his legislation. Ensured, will be preserved, for at least the next 100.. So, thank you to all the senators, members of congress who have worked so hard, mr vice president thank you for your, championing. This and and your advocacy. The. Natural, beauty. And majesty. Of, our parks and public lands. Are. More valuable. Now than ever especially. During. The current pandemic. When, they offer, respite, for so many families, and an ability. To be outside, safely, and enjoy the great outdoors so, it's, fitting, that, this moment, comes to pass now and and thank you again mr president, for, ushering, in this historic. Act, so thank you, great job. Great job honey thank you. And if i could. I'd like to ask rob portman, to come up and, he was very special, i think you would both agree that he was. Really there behind the scenes and in front of the scenes helping us out rob please. Well first i had not expected, this honor. But i'm not speechless, because there's so much to talk about. And, mr president. This wouldn't have happened but for your willingness. To show leadership. One thing that hasn't been said here. This morning is that this was a debt unpaid. For all of our public lands particularly our national parks which was the start of this. We have viewed this as a problem because. For years and years we had a debt we weren't paying. And what you have done by. Saying, i want to get this done i'm going to support you. Gave us some momentum on a bipartisan, basis. To be able to. Repay that debt. It's a debt to the american people. Second i must say that this was not without controversy. And there are some, who felt strongly, that the. Oil and gas revenues, and other energy revenues, offshore and onshore. That are used to provide this funding, both for the land and water conservation, fund. And for the deferred maintenance in our public lands. That that funding is better used elsewhere. And again. People in this room, uh including some good fiscally conservative, republicans, i consider myself one. Believe this was an exceptional situation. Because this was a debt unpaid. And that this funding. Was appropriate. Based on the way in which the oil and gas, revenue royalties, were initially, envisioned.
To Go to help with regard to our natural resources, and our environment. But it was not without controversy. Right mr vice president. And it looks good at the end the vote was strong. But it wasn't easy to get there. And so i thank you very much for your leadership. I also want to thank mark warner who is my, co-author, of the, story park sack and lamar alexander, and angus king. And then of course what corey. Gardner and steve danes were able to do on knitting this together. Along with joe manchin and others but mr president that meeting was consequential, and, again. This was not. As easy as it might look here at the end, but incredibly, important, and i believe that. Decades from now we all look back and be very proud, of the fact that we have indeed. Conserved. This america's, great treasures. For future generations. Thank you sir thank you very much, thank. You. And i have to say that. One of the things i said in the room. Was i can't believe, previous, administrations. Didn't do this. And i viewed it as having really no choice we had to do this, we had to do this we couldn't have allowed this to. Deteriorate. Or, go down further. And now it'll be better than ever before. That's what we want better than ever before, so congratulations. To everybody and now i will sign, the great american, outdoors. Act. And it's going to be a real privilege, thank you and if we could have a few you folks come on. Up, stand. Up. Okay. Thank. You. Thank. You. This. Is. That's right. Work on national, security. Mr president you work on national security. Got to tell you from my wife. She says most important thing is the work you're doing. Good and we're doing a good job. Thank you. Sir. It's your. Size. Thank you. Everybody.