ELKINS, W.Va. (WVDN) – Monongahela National Forest has received $1,092,000 in funding from the Great American Outdoors Act to support three deferred maintenance projects in West Virginia for 2023. These investments are made from the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund established by the Great American Outdoors Act.
These projects support the recent announcement by the Departments of Agriculture and Interior proposing a combined $2.8 billion in funding for Fiscal Year 2024 to improve infrastructure, recreation facilities, public lands access, and land and water conservation, as the legislation enters its third year out of five.
Including the three projects funded in 2023, Monongahela National Forest currently has nine Legacy Restoration Fund projects in various stages of development.
The three projects funded for Monongahela National Forest this year include:
- Stream Crossing Structures for Trout Fisheries (Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties) — This project implements the Panther Ridge Wildlife Habitat Improvement Project and replaces undersized and deteriorating stream crossing culverts on Forest Road 296 and Forest Road 298 in Laurel Run and Forest Road 999 in the Williams River watershed. The project addresses passage barriers for aquatic species and this is particularly important because one of these crossings occurs on a stream in which an isolated trout population was recently found.
- International Mountain Biking Association Ride Center, Tea Creek Mountain Bike Trail Improvements (Greenbrier, Pocahontas and Randolph counties) — This project includes repairing drainage structures, hardening tread with aggregate and replacing trail signs to provide a sustainable trail system.
- Holcomb Bridge Repairs (Webster County) — This project addresses deferred maintenance and structural deficiencies on the Holcomb Bridge.
Work is underway on six other projects including:
- Red Creek (Laneville) Bridge Replacement (Tucker County)
- Williams River at Tea Creek Bridge Replacement (Pocahontas County)
- Forest Road 209 Culvert Replacement with Bridge (Randolph County)
- Lake Sherwood Campground Rehabilitation (Greenbrier County)
- Tumbling Rock Bridge Replacement (Nicholas and Pocahontas County)
- Red Oak Fire Tower Lightning Protections and Improvements (Webster County)
Since 2021, the forest service has completed more than 122 deferred maintenance projects across 53 national forests in 25 states with more than 880 additional projects currently funded and in various stages of completion.
For additional information about the Forest Service implementation of the Great American Outdoors Act, visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/gaoa.
The Great American Outdoors Act addresses the growing $7 billion backlog of deferred maintenance on national forest and grasslands. 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 across the United States and Puerto Rico.
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