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The Banks-Lowman Road, also known as the Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway, carves along the South Fork of the Payette River through the Boise National Forest.

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The Great American Outdoors Act, the biggest change to American public lands in decades, is heading to President Trump’s desk, writes Idaho Press reporter Thomans Plank. The bipartisan bill, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, dedicates billions of dollars toward conservation projects and maintenance of public lands.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill Wednesday 310-107. The Senate passed the bill last month. It would double current funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund to roughly $900 million a year, and put another $1.9 billion per year toward improvements at national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and rangelands, the Associated Press reports. The bill authorizes $9.5 billion for maintenance over five years.

“I am thrilled to see this legislation on its way to President Trump’s desk where he will sign the bill into law,” Simpson said in a press release. “Not only does this bill support hundreds of thousands of jobs, but it protects and maintains our public lands for generations that aren’t even born yet.”

Simpson was the only member of Idaho’s congressional delegation to support the bill. 1st District GOP Rep. Russ Fulcher voted against it, as did both Idaho senators in the earlier Senate vote. You can read Plank's full story here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or pick up today's edition of the Idaho Press; it's on the front page.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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