Great American Outdoors Act Marks Two Years
It's been two years since the Great American Outdoor Act was signed into law. The legislation was crafted to address many of the Forest Service roads, buildings, bridges, campsites and more had fallen into disrepair.
"From years of underfunding and increasing public use," noted Jeffery Vail leads the Forest Service's Great American Outdoor Act implementation team. He added by 2021, the USFS has amassed a $6.5 billion backlog of needed maintenance work.
Why was there such a large deficit?
Vail says there was no money; maintenance budgets were being mined to pay for fighting wildfires. And he added the Forest Service needed dedicated funds, which the Great American Outdoor Act accomplished. In the first two years of this five-year Act.
"Congress has authorized funding for 883 projects in 43 states and Puerto Rico."
Those projects include efforts to replace, repair or reopen Forest Service facilities.
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