Great American Outdoors Act

Graphic for the program with 2 people, one in a wheelchair, on a dock at a lake.

The USDA Forest Service is moving forward with implementation of the Great American Outdoors Act, which will enable federal land managers to take aggressive steps to address deferred maintenance and other infrastructure projects on national forests and grasslands through 2025.

The Forest Service will use these funds to maximize the benefits experienced by millions of Americans who visit and use their national forests. Projects funded by this act will focus on improving conditions on forest and rangelands, reducing wildfire risk, and increasing the resiliency of our nation's forests for present and future generations. Well-maintained infrastructure ensures safe and healthy visitor use and enjoyment, which is essential to ensuring the benefits of National Forest System land are accessible to all.

The USDA Forest Service estimates $5.9 billion in deferred maintenance which includes an estimated $74 million on the Eldorado National Forest. (This is a very conservative number based on old surveys.)

Eldorado National Forest Funded Projects

Project Location Description Year Funded

Public Road Safety and Directional Sign Replacement

Forest Wide

This project will replace and/or update directional, regulatory and safety signs on publicly travelled National Forest System routes. This is deferred maintenance and most roadside signs across the Forest need to be replaced because of decreased reflectivity and damage. Most visitors using the national Forest would be affected by this improvement for both safety and improved recreation experience. The project would be phased over a two-year period.

2021

Silver Lake East Campground Reconstruction - Phase 2

Amador Ranger District - Highway 88

This project will complete Silver Lake East Campground reconstruction bringing the campground into 100% ADA compliance to include spur realignment, resurfacing of road and spurs, and grading of campsite pads.

2021

Salt Springs Trailhead Stairway Reconstruction

Amador Ranger District

This project will replace a high hazard stairway for the trail, which provides primary access in a popular recreation area along Salt Springs Reservoir and serves as a primary access in Mokelumne Wilderness. This work will address critical long-term safety issues.

2021

Harvey West, Sly Guard, Alder Ridge and Plummer Rental Cabin Renovations

Placerville Ranger District - Multiple locations

Recreation rentals are increasingly popular visitor destination and reservation availability is not meeting public demand. This project will complete deferred maintenance, such as replace siding, paint, replace worn fixtures/appliances/furnishings, repair propane lighting and/or install solar, and restore wood floors on two current recreation rentals with high visitor use and complete renovation to facilitate adding two more as recreation rentals to improve visitor experience and meet demand. This project will also complete water system repairs. Use of guard stations and lookouts as recreation rentals reduce vandalism of these historic sites and provides a unique opportunity for public enjoyment and education. The forest will modify an existing agreement with HistoriCorp to complete some of the repairs and contract with local contractors for additional improvements. This project will also expand our partnership with the Historic Lookout Association.

2021

Highway 50 Visitor Upgrade

Placerville Ranger District Office

This Phase 2 development project includes upgrades to outdoor visitor space for accessibility and safety, increased visitor use, and interpretive and informational panels.

2021

Fleming Meadow Trail and Access Improvements

Placerville Ranger District

The Fleming Meadow Trail system is increasingly popular with mountain biking and hiking enthusiasts. This project will complete deferred trail maintenance of existing trails, including tread work, drainage features, and new signage. The project will also resurface and paint the existing trailhead parking and entrance road to address visitor capacity, update information signage, implement trail system improvements, and add a vault toilet. 

2021

Crystal Basin, Robbs Hut and Bunker Hill Recreation Rental and Lookout Renovation

Pacific Ranger District

Recreation rentals are an increasingly popular visitor destination and reservation availability is not meeting public demand. This project will complete deferred maintenance, such as walkway and railing replacement, rodent-proofing, siding replacement, and painting on one current recreation rental, Robbs Hut, with high visitor use and complete needed renovations to facilitate adding one more, Bunker Hill, as a recreation rental to improve visitor experience and meet demand. This project will also complete water system repairs. The use of lookouts as recreation rentals reduces vandalism of these historic sites and provides a unique opportunity for public enjoyment.

2021

Wrights Lake Visitor Parking and Capacity Improvements

Pacific Ranger District - Wrights Lake

This project will repair or replace signage, resurface and/or stripe parking spurs to improve safe ingress/egress, and provide for visitor safety and protection of sensitive meadow/lakeshores of the Wrights Lake Recreation Area. The project will install an entrance kiosk to manage visitor flow and provide area information to enhance visitor experience.

2021

Dru Barner Campground Improvements

Georgetown Ranger District

Dru Barner Campground and Day Use Area is accessible year-round and popular with equestrians. This project will refurbish the well, repair the water system, and install bear-resistant storage boxes, garbage receptacles and dumpsters. The project will also replace information boards, repair/replace picnic tables and fire rings, maintain and improve road/spurs, and repair the access road. Georgetown Divide Equestrian Trails Foundation is an active partner and will provide in-kind labor and contribution to complete deferred maintenance of campground facilities. There are very few campgrounds available on the Eldorado year-round and completion of deferred maintenance will provide an improved visitor experience to highlight this opportunity to the visiting public.

2021

Fleming Meadow Trail & Access Improvements

Placerville Ranger District

The Fleming Meadow Trail system on the Placerville Ranger District is increasingly popular with mountain biking and hiking enthusiasts. This project addresses outstanding trail maintenance with work that includes tread work, drainage feature repair and replacement, and new signage. Additional project work includes resurfacing and striping the trailhead parking area and access road as well as installation of a vault toilet.

2022

John Don't Specified Road Reconstruction

Pacific Ranger District

This project will reconstruct roads to support safe haul of timber for the John Don't Forest Health project. This work will reduce haul costs and increase timber sale effectiveness. The project will reconstruct approximately 25 miles of National Forest System Roads, including clearing and grubbing, roadbed reconditioning, construction of drainage features, replacement of culverts, and other maintenance items. 

2022

Eleven Pines Land Slide Repair

Georgetown Ranger District

This project will repair the Eleven Pines landslide on the Eldorado National Forest. The work will road realignment and retaining wall repairs and improvements

This project is at the site of a complex multi-level landslide underlying failed Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) wall. The landslide damage was repaired in 2017 through the Federal Highway Administration, but failure reoccurred in 2018. This area received temporary treatment to allow vehicle passage, however, the site remains a hazard and continues to deteriorate. This project will stabilize the slide by excavating outboard shoulder of road to unload slide. Additionally, the project will move road inboard 20 feet, place a geomembrane to cap failed MSE, and install piles through existing MSE along shoulder of new alignment to unload lower portion of slide.

2022

Eldorado Forest Wide Public Road Safety and Directional Sign Replacement

Forest-wide

This project will replace and/or update directional, regulatory and safety signs on publicly travelled National Forest System routes. Most roadside signs across the Forest need replaced because of decreased reflectivity and damage. This project will improve both safety and recreation experience for the visitors to the Eldorado National Forest. The work will be completed by local contractors and the implementation of this project will be phased over a two-year period.

2022

Adventure Mountain Lodge Roof Replacement

Placerville Ranger District

Adventure Mountain main lodge roof is no longer functional. This project will repair and/or replace the roof to ensure the lodge is available for year-round use and offering summer opportunities.

2022

Highway 88 Trailhead Improvements and Trail Maintenance

Amador Ranger District

The Shealor Lake, Thunder Mountain and Lake Margaret trailheads have seen large use increases by visitors from the Tahoe and neighboring metropolitan areas. This project addresses deferred maintenance and capacity challenges at these three very popular trailheads. Project work includes trail maintenance and trailhead improvements to the parking area, signage and restrooms. The addition of these amenities would make them REA site eligible.

2022