Tester Secures Funding for 54 Montana Forest Service Projects through the Great American Outdoors Act
Senator’s historic public lands bill brings a $285 million investment into national forest and grassland maintenance and infrastructure improvements nationwide
Following his efforts to champion the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) last year which included full and permanent funding for the Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and $9.5 billion to address maintenance backlogs in America's public lands, U.S. Senator Jon Tester recently secured $285 million in GAOA funds that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will use to invest into national forest and grassland projects nationwide-including 54 projects across Montana.
"For years, Montanans have been fighting to make critical improvements to our public lands infrastructure so that we can preserve our outdoor heritage and improve access," said Tester. "Because of their hard work, we were able to pass the GAOA last year, opening up millions in funding to invest in the lands that belong to all of us, and it's exciting to finally see this investment coming through. 54 Forest Service projects across the state are getting the funding they need to be completed, and I'm proud to have worked alongside my fellow Montanans to make this possible so folks can better enjoy all that our public lands have to offer."
The $285 million in funding comes from the Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund that was created as part of the GAOA to address deferred maintenance backlogs in the nation's public lands over the course of five years. This funding will allow the United States Forest Service to implement more than 500 infrastructure improvement projects across the United States, 54-or more than 10 percent-of which are in Montana.
These investments will improve recreation facilities, visitor centers, dams, and trails and includes projects that aim to increase public access by restoring and repairing roads, trails, bridges, tunnels and parking areas.
A longtime public lands advocate, Tester has long fought to secure funding to improve access, make infrastructure improvements, and preserve Montana's outdoor heritage. He championed the GAOA, providing full and permanent funding to the LWCF after working with Montanans to codify it since 2009. He also recently successfully pushed the U.S. Department of Interior to reverse course on a burdensome order that undermined the LWCF by placing unnecessary federal regulations on private landowners and their property.
You can view a full list of the 54 Montana projects HERE.