Forest Service asking public opinion on deferred maintenance projects

Local News

An image of the aftermath of the 2017 Cajete Fire. The Cajete Fire started from an abandoned campfire north of NM State Highway 4 and threatened the community of Sierra de los Pinos. (US Forest Service Santa Fe National Forest)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service announced on Friday they are seeking the public’s input on a list of proposed deferred maintenance projects under construction for the Great American Outdoors Act funding for the 2022 fiscal year.

Officials say the projects aim to address the Forest Service’s $5.2 billion deferred maintenance backlog and improve public access and quality of visitor experience through repair and restoration of roads, trails, bridges, recreation sites, and other facilities.

The proposed projects were selected based on seven criteria:

  • Reducing deferred maintenance
  • Promoting management of America’s forests
  • Improving visitor experience
  • Contributing to rural economic development
  • Improving visitor access
  • Ensuring health and safety
  • leveraging partner contributions and resources

The Great American Outdoors Act provides funding that will enable federal land managers to take aggressive steps to address deferred maintenance and other infrastructure projects on national forest and grasslands through 2025. The Forest Service says they are working closely with all interested stakeholders to ensure the selected projects continue to meet local needs and maximize the benefits experienced by millions of Americans who visit and use national forests and grasslands.

The public has until Nov. 30 to review and provide feedback on the proposed list. Information on how to submit feedback is available on the Great American Outdoors Act webpage.

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