The Kootenai and Flathead National Forests have completed a list of maintenance projects that will be funded by the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) which consists of many recreation-focused projects. The list includes work on deteriorating roads that provide access to campgrounds and trailheads, maintenance on rental cabins and trail maintenance that may include leveraging the funds using partners such as the Back Country Horsemen, Montana Conservation Corps, AmeriCorps, and the Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association. The funds will also be used to perform maintenance work on water and wastewater systems at many of the forests’ developed recreation sites and improve river access sites.
GAOA was passed in 2020 and provide funding to complete deferred maintenance in national parks and forests. While the Forest Service was initially not included in the legislation, the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) and its members actively advocated to have the agency included. ORR is working with the Forest Service to maximize the return on investment of these funds to the recreating community.