Implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act)

Projects undertaken under the Recovery Act will help address a wide range of conservation issues, including the impacts of climate change, reduced tree vigor, and reducing the threat of wildfires, as well as improving the quality of trails, roads, and the energy efficiency of facilities.

Wildland Fire Management (WFM) projects on Federal lands and in cooperation with States, local governments, tribes, and private lands owners on their lands include:

  • Ecosystem Restoration, Research, and Rehabilitation
  • Forest Health and Invasive Species Protection
  • Hazardous Fuels Reduction Activities
  • State Fire Assistance Projects
  • Biomass Utilization Grants
  • Wood to Energy Grants

These projects will provide for the health and safety of employees and visitors and assure quality recreation experiences. Many people will be put to work rehabilitating roads, trails, facilities, campgrounds, trailheads and improving energy efficiency.

These projects, especially hazardous fuels reduction projects, will help protect communities from large, unnaturally severe fires, will contribute to the restoration of fire-adapted ecosystems, and will create private sector jobs and retain private sector jobs where they are at risk.

The funding will also help create incentives to utilize biomass generated from fuels reduction projects for renewable energy production.

The biomass utilization projects and wood-to-energy grants will help find ways to improve the use of woody biomass from insect and disease outbreak, wildfires, and storm damage. We would develop and help deploy integrated management, production, utilization, and conversion systems and technologies for biobased products and bioenergy.

Capital Improvement and Maintenance (CIM ) projects include:

  • Abandoned Mine Lands Remediation
  • Facility Improvement, Maintenance, and Rehabilitation
  • Facility-Related Ecosystem /Watershed Enhancements related to road and trail maintenance
  • Roads and Trails Maintenance and Decommissioning


The Recovery Act will provide private sector employment for thousands of people to maintain and enhance the Forest Service’s recreational infrastructure, including trails and developed sites.

The agency has the largest network of trails in the world and Recovery Act  funds will enable the agency to work with partners to begin to address the maintenance backlog that exists. These funds will be used to protect private sector jobs at risk at many concessions, outfitter and guide operations, recreation lodges and related business by addressing the need to repair basic infrastructure and enhancing the quality of the recreation experience on which they depend. 

The Forest Service is engaged on numerous fronts with partners that can improve overall capacity and with the ability to respond to the economic recovery plan. Efforts will span both internal and external endeavors—contributing to the creation of efficient business processes, improved public accessibility and engagement, and heightened accountability. Our partners are eager to help us implement a recovery framework that generates jobs, supports rural communities, provides training experiences for youth, and provides environmental benefit.

All of these efforts recognize the close tie that exists between rural communities and other partners and cooperators. Partners joined with public resources will work towards the short-term goal of private sector job creation as well as the longer term triple bottom line: ecological benefit, economic growth and social well-being. Through these efforts we will achieve land management objectives within the context of community need and benefit.

The Nation’s forests and grasslands serve as a critical source of clean, fresh water for the American public. National Forest System lands contribute about 18% of the country’s total freshwater resources, and in the Western U.S., these lands produce 53% of the freshwater resources. Maintaining and restoring these lands will be an important component of project implementation in the Recovery Act.