USDA Announces First Set of Great American Outdoors Act Projects

This week, the USDA delivered to Congress its priority list of deferred maintenance projects for Great American Outdoors Act funding in fiscal year 2021. The bill, USDA said will protect and enhance the economies of numerous gateway communities that surround public lands by restoring and maintaining critical access and infrastructure. Congress passed the bill in July and the President signed it into law in August. USDA said the project list breakdown, now available on the agency’s website, will help the Forest Service reduce its $5.2 billion deferred maintenance backlog.

The projects will improve access and visitor experiences by repairing and restoring roads, trails, bridges, recreation sites, and other facilities on national forests and grasslands.

The first priority list includes six Washington projects, 18 in Oregon, and 60 projects in Idaho, as well as several multistate projects. Click Here for the full list of priorities put forward by USDA.

However, the Public Lands Council calls the bill a federal land grab. Following Senate passage of the bill this summer, the organization stated the bill “sentenced existing and future lands and waters to the same fate facing current federal assets – billions of dollars in deferred maintenances.”

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