A year ago this month, former President Trump signed into law the Great American Outdoors Act, one of the largest votes of support for U.S. public lands system since it was conceived.
Now over 250 projects have already gotten underway in 40 states across America.
Passing with massive bipartisan support, the bill permanently authorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a critical source of funding for public land maintenance, with $900 million in annual spending for parks, forests, lakeshores, campgrounds, roads and other infrastructure, down to the smallest playgrounds in your local neighborhood.
In Shoshone National Forest, a dilapidated bridge has been replaced; a scenic byway and drain culvert will be replaced in Umatilla and Malheur National Forests; National Forests such as Daniel Boone, Ozark St. Francis, El Yunque, George Washington-Jefferson, and all those in Florida and North Carolina, will be receiving new roads, wastewater treatment systems, campgrounds, trail restoration, bridges, and much more.
Devil’s Canyon campground on the Manti-La Sal National Forest has already received brand spanking new roads.
Montana got a hefty share of the $285 million war chest that was part of the first round of LWCF dollars distributed among 40 states to address 54 projects helping repair what needs fixing in spectacular wild places such as the Bitterroot Mountain Range.
$11 million went to the beloved Zion National Park for campground restoration, and another $4 million went to an unspecified Utah project across 50 acres.
In California, in the Sierra National Forest, several roads are getting a total makeover, as well as some of the campgrounds, while restoration of the mighty Pacific Crest Trail will be carried out across 25 National Forest easements.
That’s all in one year, and much can be hoped that next year will bring the same, and the one after that, allowing all those who enjoy the public lands in America to enjoy them as they should.