Great American Outdoors Act Projects
The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) gave the USDA Forest Service new opportunities to deliver benefits to the American public through major investments in recreation infrastructure, public lands access, and land and water conservation. These investments improve outdoor recreation and contribute to economic growth and job creation in rural America. GAOA provides permanent, full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) that will advance the Administration’s 30 x 30 conservation goals and establishes a new National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund (LRF) to address the deferred maintenance backlog for the Department of Agriculture and Department of the Interior in fiscal years 2021-2025.
Locally, the Deschutes National Forest is conducting a number of projects due in part to funding from the Great American Outdoors Act. Check out how these funds are helping improve access, sustainability and safety to treasured places across Central Oregon!
Lava Lands Visitor Center serves as the focal point for heavy visitation within the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. The Lava Lands Visitor Center paving project focused on re-paving two asphalt parking lots and creating a new asphalt parking access roadway.
The Great American Outdoors Act funded the final phase of improved access and safety to Lava River Cave, a heavily used recreation site. Work included rebuilding the existing 400’ asphalt trail from the parking lot and replacing handrails and site fencing to address safety and unauthorized access concerns.
The Deschutes National Forest replaced a severely dilapidated bridge over Quinn Creek that had two missing handrails and had advanced rot throughout the structure. The Quinn Creek bridge had been closed to stock for several years due to its condition. While the new bridge has a similar design to the former bridge, the new bridge is built with larger materials that will be more resistant to rot.
The Deschutes National Forest replaced an old trail bridge over the North Fork of Tumalo Creek that had significant structure rot, missing and rotten decking, and was listing to one side. The bridge, a feature of the Metolius-Windigo Trail provides hiking, equestrian and mountain biking access to the Happy Valley area west of Tumalo Falls. The new trail bridge is in the same location but is slightly longer and situated higher than the previous one – two changes that will keep it safe from high water events and help with long term sustainability.
The Deschutes National Forest replaced an old trail bridge across Candle Creek that had been listing severely, had undermined abutments and significant rot throughout the structure. The new trail bridge is in the same location, but is slightly longer and situated higher than the previous one. The bridge is made from rot-resistant materials and, barring an accident like a tree strike or wildfire, it’s estimated the bridge will last for 30+ years.
The Deschutes National Forest recently completed a multi-phase reconstruction and enhancement project for the Wyeth Boat Launch, entrance road and parking areas. The Great American Outdoors Act funded the reconstruction of the access road into Wyeth Campground and Boat Launch. The Wyeth Boat Launch provides river access to a diverse group of users, including anglers, paddlers, floaters and kayakers.
The Deschutes National Forest replaced a failing trail bridge on the Metolius Windigo Trail #99 near Cultus Lake through Great American Outdoors Act funding. The bridge provides critical connectivity for hikers and mountain bikers on a popular National Recreation Trail.
Pacific Northwest Region
The Great American Outdoors Act is funding deferred maintenance, improved transportation, and enhanced recreation infrastructure on National Forests across Oregon and Washington. Check out projects happening across the Pacific Northwest region!