Federal funds go to the general public areas of the WNC

Posted by Jeff on Nov 27, 2020 @ 6:38 am in Conservation | 0 comments | Last change: November 25, 2020

Public property in western North Carolina is set to receive a portion of the $ 9.5 billion approved for deferred maintenance projects with the ratification of the Great American Outdoors Act. The National Park Service and the US Forest Service both released project lists last week.

Hailed as the largest single investment in public land in the country’s history, the bipartisan bill provides up to $ 9.5 billion over five years to clear the much larger state maintenance backlog, as well as 900 Million US dollars annually for the Land and Water Fund, which has been protecting land for parks, nature reserves and recreation across the country for 50 years. The law requires that half of the money from state and aquatic energy development revenues be used for these programs and must not exceed $ 1.9 billion in any fiscal year.

Nationwide, the forest service has a deferred maintenance backlog of $ 5.2 billion, while the parking service is $ 12 billion. As of 2018, the last year for which figures are available, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was $ 235.9 million and the Blue Ridge Parkway was $ 508.1 million.

Funding goes to agencies from both the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Agriculture, each of which handles the process of prioritizing and implementing the projects in a different way.

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