The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA, Public Law 116-152) was signed into law on August 4, 2020, providing major investments to address deferred maintenance needs, increase recreational access to our public lands, and conserve our lands and waters.
Among its provisions, GAOA provided for two key pieces of legislation: the establishment of a National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, and mandatory appropriation for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. More information on these provisions is in the sections below.
A Department of the Interior Task Force, of which BLM is a member, developed four overall goals for GAOA: (1) to maximize the return on investment to citizens served, (2) to improve the financial health of maintenance programs, (3) to protect those we serve by improving safety for the public and employees, and (4) to plan for the future by modernizing infrastructure.
In addition to practical maintenance considerations, BLM is also interested in advancing administration goals through GAOA, including such issues as:
- Climate resiliency
- Preventing resource threats
- Advancing clean energy solutions
- Benefitting underserved communities
- Creating opportunities for youth and job corps programs, and
- Contributing to the improvement of the economy through good paying jobs.
- National Parks and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund (LRF)
GAOA established the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund (LRF) with mandatory funding for five years to several agencies including the BLM. Congress funds up to $1.9 billion annually in Fiscal Years (FY) 2021 to 2025, of which the BLM can receive a maximum of 5 percent of the funds, or $95 million dollars. The LRF will enable the BLM to repair critical infrastructure such as roads, trails, facilities, and recreation areas.
- Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
GAOA provides mandatory funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) of $900 million each year. The BLM uses LWCF funding to strategically acquire lands that support conservation, recreation, and projects that enhance management of and public access to existing public land and resources.
For more information about LWCF, visit our site.
Madison County, Montana
Construction crews completed a four mile realignment and resurfacing on Axolotl Lakes Road, south of Ennis, Montana, in November 2022. See photos here.
Las Cruces, New Mexico
BLM crews lay out a concrete mat designed to reduce erosion when vehicles cross arroyos. This road accesses Prehistoric Trackways National Monument. Read more here.
Valley County, Montana
Workers broke ground in June on a rehabilitation project to restore the 58-year-old Grub Dam, about 22 miles from Glasgow, Montana. Read more here.
Baker City, Oregon
The National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center will undergo a major retrofit beginning March 2, 2022. The project is partially funded by GAOA. Read more here.