USDA Forest Service Invests in Infrastructure Improvements on Southern National Forests

Release Date: Mar 9, 2021

Contact(s): Cathy Dowd, (828) 412-1521

March 9, 2021 – The USDA Forest Service has announced Federal investments in 26 Great American Outdoors Act projects that will address critical deferred maintenance and improve transportation and recreation infrastructure on national forests in the Southern Region, from Texas to Virginia to Puerto Rico.


These investments will leverage National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Funds (LRF) provided by Congress to improve 26 projects throughout the South.


Regional Forester Ken Arney said, “These infrastructure projects will improve visitor experiences in some of the most sought-after places on southern national forests. They will attract new and returning visitors, contribute to tourism, enhance the already booming recreation economy, and create jobs in the construction sector. The economies of many towns near southern national forests will benefit. This year’s federally-funded 26 projects will improve roads, trails, bridges, dams, culverts, road surfaces, parking lots, campgrounds and wastewater systems.”


The investments are 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 allow the Forest Service to implement key infrastructure improvements, which are 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 LRF may contribute to a sustainable infrastructure that is resilient to climate change impacts.  Projects may also address Administration objectives to provide improved recreational opportunities and access to underserved communities.


For more information about LRF projects in the Southern Region, visit: For more information on the Great American Outdoors Act and related projects, visit