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Great American Outdoors Act funds local projects in Minnesota

Great American Outdoors Act funds local projects in Minnesota

Superior National Forest

DULUTH, MINNESOTA ~~~~~~   March 11, 2021   (LSN)  The Superior National Forest is pleased to announce that as part of the Great American Outdoors Act four local projects have been selected for fiscal year 2021. The selected projects will be the first round of improvements to address deferred maintenance on the Forest while improving our visitor’s experience. 

The Great American Outdoors Act responds to the growing $5.9 billion backlog 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. 

This year’s selected projects on the Superior National Forest include:  

  • Forest Road 166 Cross River bridge repair and design – This project funds the design to repair the Cross River Bridge abutment and improve safe road conditions. Construction is anticipated in the summer of 2022.
  • South Kawishiwi pavilion structural repair and restoration – Two rotting logs on the South Kawishiwi Pavilion will be replaced and a new accessible entrance will be constructed, allowing all to enjoy this historic building.
  • Multiple Superior trails deferred maintenance and rehabilitation – This project includes trail maintenance on 13 trails over 20 miles, including trail bridge replacements, replacement of wooden staircases with rock stairways, repair and replacement of puncheon, and improvement to erosion control.    
  • Superior National Forest campgrounds amenity repairs and upgrades – 20 recreation facilities across the forest will receive facility upgrades. Projects include trail/ pathway maintenance, erosion control, pavilion updates, replacing and repairing docks and swimming platforms, replacement of picnic tables, tent pads, fire rings, and other minor constructed features.   

In addition to these four projects, the Superior will replace seven toilet buildings across the forest using Great American Outdoors Act funds, as a part of a regional project. 

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. These funds are critical in helping to reduce the Forest Service’s $5.2 billion deferred maintenance backlog and is an important step in restoring what our visitors love about national forests in the Eastern Region. 

The Great American Outdoors Act authorizes funding under the Legacy Restoration Fund annually through 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 across the country.  

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. 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.  

-30- 

Northern Minnesota
Duluth, St. Louis County, Lake County, Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Cook County, Grand Marais, Grand Portage, Carlton County, Itasca County, Koochiching County, Lake of the Woods County, Internation Falls,  Minnesota 

 

#LSN_CookCounty  #LSN_Outdoors   #LSN_MNNews

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