Great American Outdoors Act funds local projects

BEDFORD – The Hoosier National Forest is pleased to announce that as part of the Great American Outdoors Act several local projects have been selected for the fiscal year 2021.

The selected projects will be the first round of improvements to address deferred maintenance on the Forest while improving visitors’ experience.

These projects are part of the $285 million investment made possible by the newly created National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, established in 2020 by the Great American Outdoors Act. These funds will allow the USDA Forest Service to implement more than 500 infrastructure improvement projects essential to the continued use and enjoyment of national forests and grasslands across the nation. These funds are critical in helping to reduce the Forest Service’s $5.2 billion deferred maintenance backlog and are an important step in restoring what our visitors love about national forests in the Eastern Region.

This year’s selected projects on the Hoosier National Forest are:

Trail improvements at German Ridge Recreation Area – 3.6 miles of trail in Perry County will be improved to reduce erosion, increase sustainability, and improve safety for visitors who hike, bike or ride horses.  

A section of trail at German Ridge Recreation Area that will be improved in 2021 with funding from the Great American Outdoors Act.

Repair concrete boat launches – Five lakes in Perry and Orange counties, popular for fishing and paddling, will be improved for safety and repaired for sustainability.

Road improvements at Tipsaw Lake Recreation Area in Perry County – The road accessing the five campground loops will have the base layer replaced and will be paved with asphalt to improve visitor access.

The Great American Outdoors Act authorizes funding under the Legacy Restoration Fund annually through the fiscal year 2025. Forest Service economists estimate that projects funded with these dollars will support roughly 4,400 jobs and contribute $420 million to the gross domestic product.

Forest Service infrastructure supports more than 300 million recreationists, first responders such as wildland firefighters, and other users of Forest Service roads. Each year, visitors to the national forests contribute almost $11 billion to the U.S. economy, which sustains more than 148,000 jobs.

For more on the Great American Outdoor Act in the Eastern Region visit:  https://go.usa.gov/xsdkj

Background

The Great American Outdoors Act responds to the growing $5.9 billion backlogs of deferred maintenance on national forest and grasslands, which includes $3.7 billion for roads and bridges and $1.5 billion for visitor centers, campgrounds, and other facilities. The Forest Service currently administers more than 370,000 miles of roads, 13,400 bridges, 159,000 miles of trails, 1,700 dams and reservoirs, 1,500 communications sites, 27,000 recreation sites, and 40,000 facilities of other types. In addition to helping address deferred maintenance for these critical facilities and infrastructure, the Great American Outdoors Act will help the Forest Service to continue supporting rural economies and communities in and around national forests and grasslands across the country.