Great American Outdoors Act project implementation

JOHN DAY, PRAIRIE CITY & HINES, OR –  (Press Release from the Malheur National Forest)

The Malheur National Forest will soon begin the implementation for the projects chosen to be part of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA).

Work on these projects will bring temporary road closures and detours. The GAOA, which permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and establishes the new Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund – enabling federal land managers to take aggressive steps to address deferred maintenance and other infrastructure projects on national forests and grasslands through 2025.

These funds represent an extraordinary investment in America’s access to its public lands, which benefit small businesses, rural communities, and our nation’s rapidly growing recreation economy.

The Forest Service will use these funds to maximize the benefits experienced by millions of Americans who visit and use their national forests. Maintenance projects funded by this act will focus on improving conditions on forest and rangelands, reducing wildfire risk, and increasing the resiliency of our nation’s forests and grasslands. Projects funded by the LWCF will improve recreation opportunities in rural and urban communities, secure land acquisitions and easements that will ensure continued access to public lands for present and future generations.

At the sites shown on the attached maps, existing culverts will be replaced by larger open arch structures with natural channel design that improve passage for all aquatic organisms in particular Endangered Species Act (ESA) Threatened Mid- Columbia River Steelhead. Culverts that are undersized create velocity barriers during high flows for aquatic organisms and catch debris, which could lead to roadbed and culvert failure.

Culverts also have a life span for which they are effective and begin to deteriorate due to rust effecting the metal. Evidence of these failures can be exhibited by elevated (perched) out flow and percolation (seepage) of water under or around a culvert. Seepage under culverts during low flow times can result in no fish USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. passage during drought periods, effectively trapping aquatic organisms. The purpose of these projects is to replace the culverts that exhibit these characteristics and have been identified for replacement for long-term infrastructure needs; as well as benefit aquatic organisms which pass through these structures.