The $1.7 trillion-dollar omnibus bill that President Joe Biden signed into law late last year includes funding for the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

An official at the U.S. House of Representatives said the legislation allows the authorization of funds necessary for the administration of LBL.

“There is no floor or cap to what can be appropriated in the future,” noted Austin Hacker, a deputy communications director at the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congressman James Comer and U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell introduced legislation last year to provide funding for LBL, whose 171,280 acres stretches across portions of Trigg and Lyon counties in Kentucky and Stewart County in Tennessee.

With its opportunities for fishing, boating, hiking and the like, the national recreation area provides an economic jolt for tourism in the region, officials said.

Included in the Land Between the Lakes Recreation and Heritage Act that is a part of the recently-signed legislation is a section authorizing the secretary of agriculture to “expend amounts appropriated that are necessary for the administration of the national recreation area,” it states.

The document also clarifies that the secretary will charge reasonable fees in consultation with the advisory board for the admission to and use of designated sites or for activities within LBL, and it specifies that funds collected from charges, user fees or natural resource utilization shall be available to perform construction projects, improvements, or maintenance at LBL. Fees may be used for salaries and expenses on the projects, but salaries and expenses for the management of LBL must come from the Forest Service’s dedicated funding accounts.

Additionally, the heritage act requires that LBL will be a separate unit of the National Forest System, notes that the secretary may carry out a memorandum of understanding with state and local entities to clarify jurisdictional issues like road management or policing and allows qualified residents or relatives or a cemetery association to request additional land within an existing cemetery for burials, among other aspects of the act.

Officials noted last year that the bill will provide $8 million annually for maintenance and recreation needs as well as other improvements at LBL.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or

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