Years of deferred maintenance at recreation sites on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest are getting checked off the to-do list as the forest capitalizes on funding from the Great American Outdoors Act.
Passed by Congress in March of 2020, the GAOA established the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund (LRF) to address overdue maintenance needs. GAOA also permanently authorized funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) — a separate pot of money aimed at conserving irreplaceable lands and improving outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the nation.
The LRF is funded for five years to address the maintenance backlog for five land management agencies: the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Indian Education for department schools during the fiscal years 2021-2025.
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Now halfway through the five-year timeline the Helena-based forest has restored a lot of its recreation assets and has plans to knock out more of the needed maintenance in the next couple work seasons.
“I actually never thought I’d see this in my lifetime or as a professional working for the