Great American Outdoors Act
Enacted into law on August 4, 2020, the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) continues to provide new opportunities for the USDA Forest Service to deliver benefits to the American public through major investments in infrastructure, recreation facilities, public lands access, and land and water conservation.
The GAOA has two components: (1) establishment of the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund (LRF) and funded it for five years to address the maintenance backlog for five land management agencies (USDA Forest Service, National Parks Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Education) in fiscal years 2021-2025, and (2) permanent full funding of the Land and Water Conservation fund (LWCF) which provides for federal land acquisition and Forest Legacy grants to states under existing programs.
These investments in Forest Service infrastructure, recreation facilities, and public lands access demonstrate the agency’s commitment to caring for the land and serving people.
Project Impacts on Local Communities
- 08/23/23 - Ready to Roll: Trail improvements funded by the Great American Outdoors Act increase accessibility
- 08/04/23 - Great American Outdoors Act: Three Years In
- 08/04/23 - VIDEO: GAOA 3rd Anniversary
- 08/03/23 - Intermountain Region Celebrates Third Year of Great American Outdoors Act
- 07/05/23 - Bridge to an Icy Wonderland Re-opened
- 06/26/23 - Reviving treasured trails of Montana: Great American Outdoors Act funds help deferred maintenance
- 06/21/23 - Buckhorn Ranger Station to be restored after fires, vandalism
- 05/11/23 - Agriculture and Interior Departments Invest $2.8 Billion to Improve Public Lands Access and Support Conservation Efforts Across the United States
- 03/14/23 - Hessie Cabin: dynamite, mines and trap doors
Legacy Restoration Fund
The Forest Service currently administers more than 372,000 miles of roads, 6,600 bridges, 163,000 miles of trails, 7,400 trail bridges, 460 dams and reservoirs, 1,100 communications sites, 30,000 recreation sites, nearly 5,000 each of drinking water and wastewater systems, and 40,000 buildings. The Legacy Restoration Fund allows the Forest Service to address deferred maintenance on these critical facilities as well as improve critical infrastructure essential for use and enjoyment of national forests and grasslands. The Forest Service receives 15 percent of all LRF funds, up to a maximum of $285 million per year through Fiscal Year 2025.
Fiscal Year 2024 Proposed Projects (PDF, 3.64 MB, pg. 255)
Fiscal Year 2023 LRF Projects (PDF, 4.92 MB) **NEW**
Fiscal Year 2022 LRF Projects (PDF, 691 KB)
Fiscal Year 2021 LRF Projects (XLSX , 158 KB)
More information is available from the regions and forests where these projects are taking place.
Land and Water Conservation Fund
The Great American Outdoors Act secures $900 million in permanent funding each year for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), managed by the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior. The Forest Service administers two LWCF programs – the Forest Legacy Program and the Land Acquisition program – that together conserve critical and strategic lands across the nation’s forests and grasslands. Forest Service LWCF projects enhance recreational access to existing public lands, conserve working timberlands vital for local economies, and protect critical watersheds.
- Fiscal Year 2024 LWCF Projects
- FY24 Forest Legacy Program Projects (PDF, 124 KB)
- FY24 National Forest System Land Acquisition Projects (PDF, 96 KB)
- Fiscal Year 2023 LWCF Projects
- Fiscal Year 2022 LWCF Projects
- FY22 Forest Legacy Program Projects (PDF, 163 KB)
- FY22 National Forest System Land Acquisition Projects (PDF, 79 KB)
- Fiscal Year 2021 LWCF Projects
- FY21 Forest Legacy Program Projects (PDF, 155 KB)
- FY21 National Forest System Land Acquisition Projects (PDF, 168 KB)
For more information about LWCF, visit:
For additional information about individual deferred maintenance projects funded through the Legacy Restoration Fund near you, please contact your local USDA Forest Service regional office:
R1 - Northern Region
R2 - Rocky Mountain Region
R3 - Southwestern Region
R4 - Intermountain Region
R5 - Pacific Southwest Region
R6 - Pacific Northwest Region
R8 - Southern Region
R9 - Eastern Region
R10 - Alaska Region
Research and Development