The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) hailed big wins for the U.S. outdoor industry as a $1.1 trillion funding bill was passed by Congress last week – including the re-authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which expired two months ago, as well as a 6 percent boost for conservation programs and an average 10 percent rise in funding for public lands. The LWCF was extended for three years, with an increase of $150 million in appropriated funding for 2016, bringing it up to $450 million. OIA had been pushing for full funding and permanent authorization, but Congress let the fund expire in September after 50 years. The new bill should enable the OIA to focus on funding and permanent authorization of projects that are critical for outdoor recreation and don't cost anything to U.S. taxpayers, writes Jessica Wahl, policy adviser for recreation. The OIA attributed much of the credit to the outdoor industry, which supported the LWCF through lobbying, articles and countless calls for leadership.