Published since 1946
Departments Tackle Maintenance Needs on Public Lands Through GAOA Funding
The U.S. Department of the Interior will invest $1.6 billion and the U.S. Forest Service will invest $285 million for deferred maintenance projects through funds in the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund that was authorized in the Great American Outdoors Act. The DOI press release notes that 165 deferred maintenance projects for fiscal year 2021 funding will improve recreation facilities, visitor centers, dams, water and utility infrastructure, tribal schools, and historic structures. Other projects aim to increase public access by restoring and repairing roads, trails, bridges, and parking areas. Projects will take place in areas managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Education. The Department estimates that the infrastructure projects will support 18,851 jobs and contribute $2 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2021
The Forest Service funding will support more than 500 infrastructure improvement projects on national forests and grasslands. The maintenance projects focus on roads, trails, dams, visitor facilities, bridges, and more; the full list of projects is available on the Forest Service’s Great American Outdoors Act webpage.
“Our forests and grasslands are one of our nation’s greatest treasures and one of the most effective natural carbon captures that exist to help combat the effects of climate change,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Millions of people each year enjoy forests and grasslands, and these investments will promote public-private partnerships, tourism and recreation, protect public lands, and ensure our national forests are accessible to all. These investments will also serve as a catalyst for rural economic development and employment opportunities.”