Great American Outdoors Act Funds Nine Projects on Monongahela National Forest

Contact(s): Kelly Bridges


Elkins, W.Va., March 16, 2021 — Monongahela National Forest is pleased to announce that as part of the Great American Outdoors Act nine local projects have been selected for fiscal year 2021. The selected projects will be the first round of improvements to address deferred maintenance on the Forest while improving visitors’ experience. Many of these projects have multiple phases and will not necessarily be completed this year.

These projects are part of the $285 million investment made possible by the newly created National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, established in 2020 by the Great American Outdoors Act. These funds will allow the USDA Forest Service to implement more than 500 infrastructure improvement projects essential to the continued use and enjoyment of national forests and grasslands. These funds are critical in helping to reduce the Forest Service’s $5.2 billion deferred maintenance backlog and an important step in restoring what visitors love about national forests in the Eastern Region.

This year’s selected projects for Monongahela National Forest are:

  • Lake Sherwood Campground Rehabilitation. Lake Sherwood Campground will be renovated by replacing some toilet/shower wooden buildings with new accessible concrete structures, demolishing old vault toilets, repairing utility lines, replacing sewer infrastructure, reconstructing the amphitheater, and installing new traffic signs.
  • Marlinton-White Sulphur Ranger District Stream Crossing Structures for Trout Fisheries. This project will include the design and replacement of three undersized and deteriorating culverts on Forest Roads 296 and 298 (Laurel Run) and Forest Road 999 (Williams River), resulting in ecological uplift and improved trout fishing.
  • Williams River at Tea Creek Bridge Replacement at Cranberry Wilderness. Design and construct a replacement bridge on Forest Road 404 over the Williams River for access into Tea Creek Campground.
  • Red Oak Fire Tower Lightning Protections and Improvements. Repair and renovate parts of Red Oak Fire Tower to correct safety issues for future public use.
  • Tumbling Rock Bridge Replacement for Timber Sales and Recreation Access. A replacement bridge and abutments will be constructed for Cranberry Backcountry Road, Forest Road 76, over the Cranberry River near Tumbling Rock Shelter.
  • Forest Road 209 Culvert Replacement with Bridge for Aquatic Organism Passage Improvements. Design and replace a bridge/culvert to maintain recreational access to Stonecoal Dispersed Camping Area and improve aquatic organism passage in Red Run, a tributary of the Shavers Fork.
  • West Fork Greenbrier Bridge Replacement for Laurel Fork Wilderness Access. Design and construct a replacement bridge to link Forest Road 44 and the West Fork Rail Trail at Wildell.
  • Elleber North Fork Deer Creek Bridge Replacement. Install a permanent bridge on Forest Road 1681, providing access to Elleber Sods Grazing Allotment and the North Fork of Deer Creek, a popular trout stream.
  • Red Creek Bridge Replacement for Dolly Sods Wilderness Access. Remove the existing bridge and build a new bridge across Red Creek at Laneville to maintain safe access for area residents and Dolly Sods Wilderness visitors.

The Great American Outdoors Act authorizes funding under the Legacy Restoration Fund annually through fiscal year 2025. Forest Service economists estimate that projects funded with these dollars will support roughly 4,400 jobs and contribute $420 million to the gross domestic product. Forest Service infrastructure supports more than 300 million recreationists, first responders such as wildland firefighters, and other users of Forest Service roads. Each year, visitors to the national forests contribute almost $11 billion to the U.S. economy, which sustains more than 148,000 jobs.

For more information on these nine projects contact Public Affairs Officer Kelly Bridges at kelly.bridges@usda.gov or (304) 642-2864.

Background

The Great America Outdoors Act (https://www.congress.gov/116/plaws/publ152/PLAW-116publ152.pdf) responds to the growing $5.9 billion backlog of deferred maintenance on national forest and grasslands, which includes $3.7 billion for roads and bridges and $1.5 billion for visitor centers, campgrounds and other facilities. The Forest Service currently administers more than 370,000 miles of roads, 13,400 bridges, 159,000 miles of trails, 1,700 dams and reservoirs, 1,500 communications sites, 27,000 recreation sites, and 40,000 facilities of other types. In addition to helping address deferred maintenance for these critical facilities and infrastructure, the Great American Outdoors Act will help the Forest Service to continue supporting rural economies and communities in and around national forests and grasslands across the country.





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