Great American Outdoors Act Provides Funding For Local Projects
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: March 10, 2021

(Bozeman, MT) March 10, 2021 – The Custer Gallatin National Forest is pleased to announce that as part of the Great American Outdoors Act 11 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.

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.

This year’s selected projects are:

  • Main Fork Rock Creek #2421 (Beartooth Ranger District): Main Fork of Rock Creek is a priority recreation emphasis area near Red Lodge, Montana where recreation is a primary economic driver.  This project repairs about 2.6 miles of the road, updates 18 camping units within the Greenough Lake Campground and adds an additional 11 sites.  It will also ensure accessibly standards are met.
  • Jackson Creek Road #977 (Bozeman Ranger District): Jackson Creek Road provides access to the Bangtail Mountain range, a popular recreation area for multi-use year-round recreation.  The project will surface and maintain up to 5 miles of the road.
  • Yellowstone Shortline Trail (Hebgen Lake Ranger District): The Yellowstone Shortline Trail project will restore a 9-mile section of railroad bed into a world-class hiking and biking trail from West Yellowstone.  It will connect to the Greater Yellowstone Trail leading to Grand Teton National Park and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail at Reas Pass.  This project has significant partnership support ($1.25 million) and will ensure the trail is ADA accessible.
  • Big Creek, Window Rock and Basin Station Rental Cabin Repairs (Yellowstone, Bozeman, Hebgen Lake Districts): The Cabin Rental Program on the Custer Gallatin Forest is immensely popular.  Repairs will help stabilize the cabins by addressing critical maintenance and accessibility needs.
  • Black’s Pond Access Roads #4131 & #4021 (Ashland Ranger District): This project improves access in the Blacks Pond area, for recreationists and permittees.  Work on O’Dell and Stocker Branch roads will provide higher quality and consistent access to the Blacks Pond area and work in the campground includes surfacing the roads and the recreation sites.
  • 30 Miles of Asphalt Projects (Hebgen Lake, Bozeman, Beartooth and Ashland Districts):  Greek Creek, Red Cliff, Moose Flat, and Bakers Hole Campgrounds will receive a fresh coat of asphalt and roadside invasive weeds will be treated. Storm Castle, Swan Creek, and Porcupine Creek Roads will receive surfacing and maintenance.  These campgrounds and roads are some of the most popular recreation areas on the Custer Gallatin Forest.
  • Motorized Trail Maintenance (Yellowstone, Hebgen Lake and Bozeman Districts):  The west side of the Custer Gallatin Forest provides 340 miles of ATV/UTV specific trail opportunities. 71 miles of this extremely popular trail system will be maintained including holes filled, tread leveled, and drainage improved.
  • Madison Arm Road #291 (Hebgen Lake Ranger District): Madison Arm Road #291 just north of West Yellowstone, Montana provides access to developed recreation facilities and to a portion of Hebgen Lake and is a extremely popular recreation and tourist destination.  The Madison Arm Road project will improve about 11.6 miles of the existing road surface with aggregate and develop or improve drainage structures.
  • Trail Bridge Replacement (Beartooth, Yellowstone, Gardiner Ranger Districts): Three backcountry and wilderness trail bridges will be installed including the Horseshoe Creek located on the Main Stillwater Trail #24, Timberline Creek located on the Timberline Trail #12 and Blue Lake Creek on the Blue Lake Trail #118.
  • Access and Campground Deferred Maintenance (Sioux Ranger District): Snow Creek Road, Lantis Spring Road, Lantis Spring Campground Loop sites, Reva Gap Road, Reva Gap Campground Loop sites will be resurfaced, and drainage improved or installed.
  • Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness Trail System Maintenance (Beartooth, Yellowstone, Gardiner Districts): 72 miles of trails in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area need repair and maintenance.  These trails provide access to world class scenery and a pristine wilderness experience enjoyed by thousands of visitors annually.

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.

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.

For more information on these projects please contact your local Ranger District Office.

Background : 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. 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.

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