Interior Invests $1.6 Billion on Public Lands

A picture of the Rep. Deb Haaland

The Department of the Interior released an update on moves taking place in conjunction with the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA).

The bill was signed into law in August last year. RVIA noted its government affairs team worked with the department to ensure campground modernization as a GAOA priority.

The Interior Department stated it will invest $1.6 billion this year to address deferred maintenance projects, improve transportation and recreation infrastructure in national parks, address national wildlife refuges, recreation areas and Bureau of Indian Education schools.

The investment will support an estimated 18,851 jobs and contribute $2 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product this year, the Interior Department stated.

“President [Joe] Biden has made clear that creating new jobs and stimulating our economy is a top priority of this administration,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said. “Through the GAOA, we are investing in the American people, and in the future of our public lands and sacred spaces. We must address the long-delayed maintenance needs of the nation’s aging buildings and infrastructure. Importantly, this funding also honors our commitment to tribal communities by investing in Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools for current and future generations.”

The department’s planned 165 deferred maintenance projects using fiscal year 2021 funding will improve recreation facilities, visitor centers, dams, water and utility infrastructure, schools and other historic structures.

Projects will take place in areas managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Education.

A list of the Interior’s 2021 deferred maintenance projects is available here.

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