USDA Forest Service Invests in Infrastructure Improvements on National Forests
Release Date: Mar 9, 2021
Contact(s): Public Contact Hotline, (707) 562-9113
VALLEJO, Calif.—The USDA Forest Service today announced the investment of $285 million to fund Great American Outdoors Act projects across the nation that will address critical deferred maintenance and improve transportation and recreation infrastructure on national forests in California.
This investment will assist in the improvement of recreation facilities, trail maintenance, and restoration and repairing of roads, bridges, tunnels and parking areas by leveraging National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Funds provided by Congress.
“This Great American Outdoors Act funding allows us and our partners to now address critical deferred maintenance projects that will better improve the quality of services offered to Californians and those who visit our beautiful national forests,” said Randy Moore, regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region.
This $285 million investment across the nation is 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 Forest Service to implement more than 98 California-specific infrastructure improvement projects essential to the continued use and enjoyment of national forests lands.
The projects will also serve as a catalyst for economic development and employment opportunities in rural communities. These new investments 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 in the Pacific Southwest Region, visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r5/landmanagement/projects/?cid=fseprd796823.
For more information on the Great American Outdoors Act and related projects, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/gaoa.
The Great American Outdoors Act responds to the growing $5 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.
The Forest Service manages 18 National Forests in the Pacific Southwest Region, which encompasses over 20 million acres across California, and assists State and Private forest landowners in California, Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. National forests supply 50 percent of the water in California and form the watershed of most major aqueducts and more than 2,400 reservoirs throughout the state. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/R5.
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