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WNF gets funds for waterline, toilet projects

PEDRO —  The Wayne National Forest is pleased to announce projects that were selected for Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) funding for the Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area Waterline Project and the renovation of several toilet buildings.

“Funding from the Great American Outdoors Act provides a great opportunity to improve aging recreation facilities across the Forest,” said Forest Supervisor Carrie Gilbert. “We are excited to complete these essential enhancements and improve the visitor experience at our popular recreation sites.”

The funds will be used to replace the main line that supplies water to the Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area campgrounds and facilities.

In addition to the Lake Vesuvius Waterline Project, the Wayne National Forest will renovate selected toilet buildings at various recreation sites, as part of a broader Eastern Region project. These projects are funded through the GAOA that Congress passed in 2020 to provide funding for deferred maintenance and recreation projects on public lands across the nation.

The Lake Vesuvius Waterline Project, toilet renovations and selected projects on other national forests will be the first round of improvements to address deferred maintenance, in which needed infrastructure repairs are recognized but delayed until funds become available.

Projects on the Wayne National Forest will be advertised for public contracting awards on beta.sam.gov in the next few weeks.

In the years to come, additional projects are expected to be funded by the GAOA and the WNF is planning opportunities to engage the public on what improvements are important to them.

The GAOA also provides permanent full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund (LRF) to address deferred maintenance needs for the USDA Forest Service, National Park Service and other federal agencies.

These funds will allow the USDA Forest Service to implement more than 500 infrastructure projects essential to the continued use and enjoyment of national forests and grasslands. These funds are critical in helping reduce the Forest Service’s $5.2 billion deferred maintenance backlog. Projects for fiscal year 2021 were prioritized based on strong public support received during previous public engagement efforts, including letters and messages from the public.

“Funding from the Great American Outdoors Act will continue to provide opportunities to improve recreation facilities for the next several years,” concluded Gilbert. “The Wayne National Forest looks forward to working with the public and our partners to help prioritize and plan for these projects.”