The U.S. Forest Service recently announced the allocation of $3,781,300 to address selected maintenance projects on national forest lands in North Carolina. The funding comes from the Great American Outdoors Act which established the Legacy Restoration Fund (LRF) to address deferred maintenance needs in public lands and Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools.
“We are excited to see these funds get put to use across North Carolina’s National Forests,” forest supervisor James Melonas stated in a press release. “The funding will improve visitor experience and access by addressing deferred maintenance on several of our popular roads, trails, and recreation sites.”
The Department of Agriculture and Interior also recently proposed a combined $2.8 billion in funding for the fiscal year of 2024 to improve overall infrastructure, recreation facilities, public lands access, and land and water conservation. There are 11 LRF projects currently in the works for the national forests in North Carolina, all at different phases of development, with nearly $1.2 million of the new funds already supporting them.
“By addressing the maintenance backlog, we help ensure that visitors and staff are safe and comfortable as they access our national parks, public lands and roads, national wildlife refuges, and BIE-funded schools,” U.S. Department of the Interior stated on their website.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, the fund has contributed to the completion of more than 130 deferred maintenance projects across 53 national forests in 25 states with more than 996 additional projects currently funded and in various stages of completion since 2021.
Cover photo: Drone View of River Gorge in Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Courtesy of Getty Images by Eifel Kreutz.