The USDA Forest Service today announced the investment of up to $40 million to fund Great American Outdoors Act projects addressing critical deferred maintenance and improve transportation and recreation infrastructure on national forests in the Pacific Northwest Region this fiscal year.
This investment will improve access to recreation on public lands, support small businesses, and enhance investments on National Forests by leveraging National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Funds provided by Congress. In all, 29 projects in Washington and Oregon will be funded this year by funds made available through the Great American Outdoors Act.Projects in Washington and Oregon funded in 2021 include:
Maintenance and repairs to dozens of pedestrian bridge crossings and more than 1500 miles of forest trails,
Capital improvements to improve access and accessibility at visitor centers, historic buildings, and other recreation facilities,
Projects to improve fish passage and habitat for threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead, as well as other aquatic species,
Upgrades or replacements of outdated systems for water and waste management,
Enhancements to high-priority visitor and recreation corridors, safety improvements to visitor parking areas, and repairs or maintenance to hundreds of miles of forest roads necessary to support access for recreation, timber, and wildland fire response.
This investment is part of a $285 million investment on National Forests that is made possible by the newly created National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, established in 2020 by the Great American Outdoors Act.
Nationally, the funds will allow the Forest Service to implement more than 500 infrastructure improvement projects essential to the continued use and enjoyment of national forests lands this year.
The projects will serve as a catalyst for economic development and employment opportunities in rural communities, and will strengthen shared stewardship of national forests and grasslands by expanding the Forest Service work with public and private partners.
Projects funded by the Legacy Restoration Fund will contribute to efforts to develop more sustainable infrastructure resilient to climate change impacts. Projects may also address Administration objectives to provide improved recreational opportunities and access to underserved communities.
For more information on these projects, visit the regional GAOA website.