USDA Forest Service Intermountain Region announces the first project completed utilizing the Great American Outdoors Act
Release Date: Jun 11, 2021
Contact(s): Michael J. Richardson
11, June 2021 — The USDA Forest Service Intermountain Region is excited to announce the completion of the first project funded by the Great American Outdoors Act of 2020. The road resurfacing project was completed at Devil’s Canyon campground on the Manti-La Sal National Forest.
The funding provided by the Great American Outdoors Act will allow us to address deferred maintenance for many critical facilities and infrastructure improving access and visitor experiences on your national forests and grasslands.
The Manti-La Sal National Forest Moab/Monticello Ranger District, in partnership with San Juan County, completed a chip seal project on the Devil’s Canyon Campground. Darren Olsen, acting forest supervisor shared, “We are so proud of our team and San Juan County’s quick action to complete this project ahead of the busy visitation season. The Great American Outdoors Act is providing the Forest with funding and the ability to complete this chip and seal project, providing the Forest and visitors with a long-term solution for an ongoing issue.”
The Forest is anticipating additional funding in fiscal year 2022 to complete additional projects at Devil’s Canyon such as paving the interpretive trail, as well as repairing and replacing signs. Improving roads and infrastructure provides a better visitor experience on Forest Service lands.
In fiscal year 2021 the Great American Outdoors Act provided $28.4 million funding 78 projects in the Intermountain Region. The Region is anticipating $25.9 million in project funding for fiscal year 2022. The Great American Outdoors Act Deferred Maintenance project list is available on the national Great American Outdoors Act webpage at https://fs.usda.gov/managing-land/gaoa.
The forests will continue to develop and prioritize future projects, and welcomes input from communities, stakeholders, state, and federal agencies. Project proposals will be submitted annually through July 2023 and will fund projects to be completed through fiscal year 2025.
Congress signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law in August 2020 in response to the growing backlog of deferred maintenance on federal lands. This will address the $5 billion backlog of deferred maintenance on forest service lands, which includes $3.7 billion for roads and bridges and $1.5 billion for visitor centers, campgrounds, and other facilities. 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.