Arches (General Photo)

[Photo by Murice D. Miller / Moab Sun News]

Public lands across the United States will waive day fees on August 5 to commemorate the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act of 2020 into law this week.

Utah's "Mighty Five" parks—Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Zion— are expected to receive millions of dollars in funding for needed upgrades and infrastructure projects. 

The bill provides full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and billions of additional dollars to fund infrastructure projects on public lands nationwide. The Act will be funded by receiving half of all receipts from energy development on federal lands and waters, up to $1.9 billion per year, for five years to address facility and infrastructure needs.

While the Act was passed with bipartisan support, some Republicans opposed the legislation including Utah Representative Ron Bishop and Senator Mike Lee, who criticized the process of passing the Act as rushed.