The Department of Agriculture this week delivered to Congress its priority list of deferred maintenance projects for Great American Outdoors Act funding in fiscal year 2021.
The bill, USDA says, 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 says 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. 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.”