You’ll be forgiven if, with all that happened in 2020, you missed passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. The legislation permanently funded the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which provides matching funds to state, federal, and local governments for the acquisition of parks and easements designed to protect fish, forests, and wildlife. The legislation also provides $1.9 billion annually to address deferred maintenance of infrastructure- everything from roads and bridges to privies and boat ramps- on public lands across the country.
Two years in, how are those dollars being used?
The US Forest Service recently launched its Great American Outdoors Act Dashboard, allowing users to see funded projects throughout the country. Campground construction in the Kootenai National Forest, increasing stream connectivity in northern Michigan, more than 800 projects so far- and you can keep tabs on their progress, from contracting to completion.
Everyone wants to build a bridge, but no one wants to do maintenance. The Great American Outdoors Act goes a long way toward addressing our public lands accessible for all.