Great American Outdoors Act in the Southwest

The Great American Outdoors Act 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 will also contribute to the economic growth and job creation in rural America. GAOA provides permanent full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and establishes a new National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund (LRF) to address the deferred maintenance backlog for 5 federal agencies over the next 5 years.

Legacy Restoration Fund

The Forest Service currently administers more than 370,000 miles of roads, 13,800 bridges, 159,000 miles of trails, 1,700 dams and reservoirs, 1,500 communications sites, 32,000 recreation sites, and 40,000 facilities of other types. The maintenance backlog on this infrastructure is estimated to be $5.9B.

The new Legacy Restoration Fund will allow the Forest Service to improve critical infrastructure that is essential to the use and enjoyment of national forests and grasslands. The Forest Service receives 15 percent of all LRF funds, and for FY21 has received $285 million for deferred maintenance projects. The agency is preparing for up to $285 million of LRF funding to be allocated to the agency annually in the FY22 - FY25 budgets.

For the first year of LRF funding, the Forest Service identified a broad mix of critical infrastructure projects to reduce its deferred maintenance backlog while improving the quality of the visitor experience and contributing to local economies. A total of 556 LRF projects have been authorized by Congress to begin implementation in FY21 throughout the Forest Service.

Southwestern Region 2021 Projects

Authorized and funded LRF deferred maintenance projects will begin implementation in FY21.

Region Forest or Grassland Project Name State Congressional District Asset Type Project Description
R03 Apache-Sitgreaves Buffalo Crossing Bridge Replacement, Road Surfacing and Stabilization AZ AZ-01 Road Bridge This project will replace a 50 year old structurally deficient bridge with one that that will accommodate highway legal loads. Additionally, this project will surface and stabilize 12 Miles of Forest Road 24. The project will improve user comfort and safety for motorists and facilitate recreation activities in East and West Fork campgrounds and the Big Lake complex.
R03 Southwestern Region Arizona Cabin Rental Maintenance and Facility Conversions (27 Cabins) AZ AZ-04 Recreation Site This project will perform deferred maintenance on 27 cabin rentals, including roofing, upgrades and accessibility improvements. The project includes restoration, repair, and upgrades for facilities that are identified for conversion into cabin rentals, including: Buck Mt. Lookout, Mingus Mt. Lookout Cabin, and Palace Station. The project will also provide design plans and cost estimates for Tusayan Ranger House and Grandview Lookout Cabin. Projects will be performed by a mix of partnerships (HistoriCorps), contracting, Forest Service employees, youth corps, and volunteers.
R03 Coronado Renovate Marshall Gulch Picnic Area and Trailhead AZ AZ-02 Recreation Site, Road, Road Bridge The project will reconfigure the existing dead-end road system to create a one-way loop through the picnic area (with bridges across Sabino Creek), provide designated parking spaces, renovate trailheads and accessible picnic sites, provide larger vehicle turnaround ability, and restore Sabino Creek through hardened picnic facilities.
R03 Gila Gila National Forest Recreation Fee Site Maintenance For 36 Sites NM NM-02 Recreation Site All sites identified as part of the Gila forest wide fee site proposal would receive a general "freshening up" for the modern visitor by replacing amenities in declining condition, improving signage and interpretative information, and making sites more accessible. These activities will assist in maintaining them to standard including, replacing porta-potties with vault toilets, replacing non-functioning and non-accessible toilets with accessible vault toilets, new accessible concrete picnic tables, new accessible fire ring/grills, kiosk replacement, updating interpretive displays, and sign replacement. The goal is to provide visitors with a high-quality recreation experience through enhanced facilities and services.
R03 Gila Gila National Forest Road 141 Repavement NM NM-02 Road Forest Road 141 is an arterial road providing access to recreation sites, Gila Wilderness, Negrito Fire Base, and serves as haul road for restoration projects. This project will address failed pavement areas by pulverizing and installing geogrid underlayment to bridge the area and overlap on to competent subsurface. The entire length of the road will be paved with a 2 inch asphalt surface.
R03 Carson Carson National Forest Repair 3 Bridges NM NM-03 Road Bridge This project will replace deck and running planks on three bridges that provide access to, and in one case in, recreation sites, trails, and recreation residences. The Upper Rio Del Pueblo Bridge will require the existing abutment to be filled with concrete.
R03 Apache-Sitgreaves Forest Service Road 105 Reconstruction and Pavement Final Phase AZ AZ-01 Road This is the 3rd and final phase of the Woods Canyon Lake Road reconstruction and pavement of the failing portion of Forest Road 105 and store parking lot. The first 2 phases were implemented over the past few years using Federal Lands Transportation Program funds and Regional appropriations.
R03 Tonto Tonto National Forest Improvements to 36 Campgrounds AZ AZ-01 Recreation Site This project will fund water system repairs, a dump station retrofit, and the replacement of existing components.
R03 Coconino Arizona National Scenic Trail Maintenance AZ AZ-01 Trail This project will complete 73 miles of trail maintenance on the Arizona National Scenic Trail in segments 87B, 87C, and 87H. This includes brushing, tread improvement and significant renovation and reconstruction on specific trail segments including near Aspen Corner (below Arizona Snowbowl ski resort), Marshall Lake switchbacks, Gooseberry Springs, and Marshall Lake.
R03 Apache-Sitgreaves Caldwell and Water Canyon Historic Cabin Restoration and Conversion AZ AZ-01 Recreation Site This project will fund renovation work at Water Canyon Cabin, including lead-based paint remediation, rodent remediation, water hook up, and basement stabilization among other items. Caldwell Cabin renovations include replacing roof, replacing porch, replacing ramp, sanding, painting, cabin oiling, mice exclusion, bird exclusion, and interior plumbing repairs.
R03 Prescott Lynx Recreation and Thumb Butte Accessibility and Trailhead Maintenance AZ AZ-04 Trail This project will reconstruct and construct manufactured block walls and an observation platform, repair 2 wooden trail bridge, and use cold patch asphalt to reestablish accessible trail tread to 42 inches.
R03 Coronado Coronado National Forest Toilet Replacement - 3 Buildings AZ AZ-02 Recreation Site This project would better serve visitors by replacing 3 restroom buildings, reduce operations and maintenance costs, and retire deferred maintenance.
R03 Santa Fe Santa Fe National Forest Trail and Recreation Site Archaeological Survey (550 Miles and Recreation Sites) NM NM-03 Trail This project would mobilize an archaeology contractor to conduct cultural resources survey on priority trails and recreation site assets that require work to reduce deferred maintenance. Needed future work that would benefit from this project includes major trail reconstruction and re-route projects, repair and replacement of recreation site assets (including historic structures), and decommissioning of recreation site assets.
R03 Tonto Roosevelt Site Pavement Repair and Preservation AZ AZ-01 Recreation Site This project will repair and/or preserve pavement of roads, driveways, parking lots, and associated travel ways on the Tonto National Forest. Work includes but is not limited to: cleaning, prepping, and removal of vegetation to pavement surfaces, application of crack & joint seal, application of slurry seal, application of hot asphalt, saw-cutting, and pavement markings and site delineation. This project will repair parking areas for:
Windy Hill Campground
Grapevine Campground
Grapevine Group Campground
Cholla Campground
Vineyard Day Use Site
Frazier Group Campground
Schoolhouse Campground
Frazier Equestrian Campground
Access roads to the above would be included as well as paved access roads to the following non-paved sites:
Cottonwood Cove Picnic Site
Bermuda Flat Camping Area
Crabtree Wash Camping Area
Bachelor’s Cove Camping Area
R03 Coronado Nogales and Sierra Vista Ranger District Trail Maintenance AZ AZ-02 Trail In Madera Canyon this project would reduce erosion and create a narrower trail, resulting in a reconstructed trail that would be lower maintenance.
R03 Coronado Renovate Sabino Canyon Recreation Area Pavement AZ AZ-02 Recreation Site This project will perform full depth reclamation and resurfacing on failed road segments and perform pavement preservation on the remainder of roads in a highly visited recreation area. Work include shoulder reshaping and ditch cleaning.
R03 Santa Fe Santa Fe National Forest Developed Recreation Sites Improvements NM NM-03 Recreation Site This project will strategically reduce deferred maintenance at developed recreation sites where recreation fees are charged to the visitor. These projects will include the replacement of assets where the value of deferred maintenance is higher than 50% of replacement value, including refurbishment of vault toilet buildings, and replacement of recreational information signs, fire rings, BBQs, picnic tables, kiosks, tent pads, and interpretive panels.
R03 Apache-Sitgreaves Sitgreaves Zone Trails Maintenance AZ AZ-01 Trail This project will complete previously identified repair projects within existing trail prisms including logging out, washout repair, and drainage repair. trails include: Blue Ridge
General Crook, Gray Wolf, Willow Springs, Ice Cave, Rim Lake Vista, Los Burros, Chipmunk Springs, Country Club, Panorama, Timber Mesa, Sawmill Connector, Flume Connector, Buena Vista, Los Caballos, Chihuahua, Pine Connector, Juniper Ridge, Lookout Connector, Ghost of the Coyote, Land of the Pioneers, Four Springs Connector, and Four Springs.
R03 Gila Gila Wilderness Trail Access Improvement NM NM-02 Trail This is a trail project encompassing 7 different wilderness trails for a total of 77 miles that addresses resource protection, increased user safety, Forest Service operations access and improved user experiences. This project will improve access to the first administratively designated wilderness, support local communities, support economic and community development, provide capacity for businesses and partners (including ranchers and outfitter-guides), and support the State of New Mexico outdoor recreation and tourism plan for southern New Mexico.
R03 Coconino Red Rock Ranger District Trail Maintenance AZ AZ-01 Trail This project will address the heavy deferred trail maintenance in the Cathedral Rock area (Oak Creek trail system), improve visitor experience and access and leverage external agencies and resources. The trail work will be mostly completed by Arizona Conservation Corps, a conservation legacy youth corps entity.
R03 Apache-Sitgreaves Apache Zone Trails Maintenance AZ AZ-01 Trail This project will complete previously identified repair projects within existing trail prisms including logging out, washout repair, and drainage repair. Trails include: Steeple, KP, North Fork KP, Kittrick, Black River, East Baldy, West Baldy, Southfork, West Fork LC, Cow Flat, Little Blue, Base Line, Winter, Horse Canyon, Yam Canyon, Stateline, and Keller.
R03 Santa Fe Tesuque Peak/Cerro Pelado Hub Facility Improvements NM NM-03 Communication Tower This project will establish reliable emergency power at two key electronic sites on the Santa Fe National Forest. The emergency generator system installation will include the placement of a 30kW propane generator inside an insulated conex building at each site along with a 1,000-gallon propane tank, automatic transfer switch, proper grounding, and all necessary connections. The emergency battery system will include a complete replacement of the existing battery system with a system appropriately sized for the expected load, replacement of the inverter and all necessary connections. Optional road reconditioning and maintenance will ensure long term access to each site.
R03 Coronado Riggs Lake Accessible Fishing Dock AZ AZ-01 Recreation Site This project would remove the existing fishing pier and install a floating fishing dock. The new dock would provide better fishing opportunities, be accessible to visitors with disabilities, and will adjust to varying water levels in the lake.
R03 Kaibab Potable Water Tank Cleaning and Repair (4 Campgrounds) AZ AZ-01 Recreation Site This project will inspect the tanks for needed repairs. All the tanks will be cleaned and repaired and repainted as needed to ensure potable water is delivered to the public according to Arizona Department of Environmental Quality standards and requirements.
R03 Coconino Coconino and Kaibab Vault Toilets Replacements AZ AZ-01 Wastewater System This project would replace 31 pit and unusable vault toilets with new vault toilets meeting current Arizona Department of Environmental Quality regulations. Several of these sites were included in the EPA Consent and a replacement restroom facility is needed after the existing facilities were demolished in FY20.
R03 Coconino Northern Arizona Wilderness Trails Maintenance AZ AZ-01 Trail The project entails eliminating deferred maintenance of approximately 63 miles of 16 wilderness trails in Northern Arizona, including Sycamore Canyon, Kendrick, Kachina Peaks, and Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness areas across the Kaibab, Prescott and Coconino national forests. A significant amount of brush and branch removal is needed as part of this project. Work will be completed using primitive tools including utilizing pack stock for water and supply support.
R03 Coconino Coconino National Forest Survey and Design for Five Campgrounds AZ AZ-01 Recreation Site This project will complete survey and design work for five developed recreation sites (Cave Springs Campground, Knoll Lake Campground, Pinegrove Campground, Canyon Vista Campground, and CC Cragin day-use site). Some of these sites have NEPA completed and/or will soon have NEPA completed. Recommend using a contractor to complete the design and survey work given constraints with Forest Service personnel.
R03 Coconino Cinder Hills Off-Highway Vehicle Area Improvement Project AZ AZ-01 Recreation Site The project entails conducting survey and design work for trailhead amenities and boundary fencing where needed, developing a Special Recreation Permit management plan, conducting public involvement and partnership collaboration, and installing trailhead amenities and boundary fencing (especially between Sunset Crater - NPS site). Ultimately the project objective is to have suitable amenities at the Cinder Hills off-highway vehicle area and designate it as a Special Recreation Permit site with a fair market entry fee to provide a sustainable funding source to support the operation, maintenance and monitoring of recreation activities in this area.
R03 Prescott Prescott National Forest Trails Maintenance (185 Miles on 35 Trails) AZ AZ-04 Trail This project will complete brushing and drainage work on 185 miles of trail, over a three year period, to bring them up to national standards. This is approximately 63% of the trail miles on the forest. Bringing them to standard will allow the forest to get back on track with its planned maintenance schedule for more remote trails to be on a 3-5 year maintenance cycle. Work will utilize Arizona Conservation Corps crews.
R03 Coconino Coconino National Forest Access to 3 Heritage Sites AZ AZ-01 Recreation Site Palatki site requires road and trail improvement, cattle guard replacement at site entrance, and improved interpretive signing/kiosks. This project will install a viewing platform at the V-V Heritage Site to improve visitor access and safety by eliminating unsafe footing caused by a loose gravel slope. Replacing the existing fence with something less visually intrusive is also necessary. The current fencing is incongruent with the natural setting of the site. Elden Pueblo Trail paving and parking lot resurfacing will allow safer access to the site and greatly improve visitor experience, especially visitors who require ADA access. All three sites require updated interpretive facilities and materials.
R03 Coconino Coconino and Kaibab Visitor Center Maintenance Project AZ AZ-04 Recreation Site, Public Service Facility This project will address several issues and repairs needed on two visitor centers. This will provide exterior painting, new carpet, new concrete staining, repairs to automatic doors, repairs to plumbing, and repairs to potable water filling areas and drip irrigation system.
R03 Cibola Sandia Crest Recreation Complex Design and Construction NM NM-01 Recreation Site This project is a two year phased project with scope of work and contracted design in the first fiscal year with construction contracting and implementation in the second fiscal year. The project includes improving in-kind amenities including repaving and restriping parking area, removing and reconstructing all concrete walkways, ramps, stairways, observation decks and all associated stainless railings, interpretive panels, kiosks, gates, shelter, traffic control and information signs, fee station, seating benches and one four-unit vault toilet.
R03 Lincoln South Fork Bridge and Campground Erosion Control NM NM-02 Recreation Site The project is requesting money to dredge the road bridge within the campground. Current silt is building up a rate of 1 foot per year, the freeboard pre-fire was 12 feet post-fire and now it has come up to 4 feet. This work is required to restore adequate free board under the bridge. The project will install various erosion control structures throughout the drainage and above the campground in order to help prevent excess material during flash floods.
R03 Coconino Flagstaff Trail Initiative Collaboration and Mt. Elden Trail Reconstruction AZ AZ-01 Trail This project will maintain or reconstruct approximately 40 miles of trails through re-establishing tread and out-slope, reconstructing erosion structures, and rerouting trail in key locations. The project will conduct heavy maintenance on trails affected by forest management activities in the popular Mount Elden Dry Lake (MEDL) area. The Mount Elden Trail System includes the following: #1 Lower Oldham, #2 Brookbank, #4 Elden Lookout, #23 Sunset, #25 Fatman's Loop, #42 Pipeline, #69 Little Elden, #87G AZ Trail, #112 Little Bear, #152 Schultz Creek, #153 Rocky Ridge Trail, and segments of the Arizona National Scenic Trail (#87G). The trail maintenance would be completed through an existing agreement with Ancestral Lands, a youth conservation corps entity.