Does Anyone Know?: Is the Forest Service Late with List of GAOA Projects and Why?

The Center for Western Priorities  had this in its news this morning…

“Under Interior Secretary Bernhardt, the department has attempted to reject the Land and Water Conservation Fund whenever possible. Before receiving permanent funding through the Great American Outdoors Act, the Trump administration attempted to effectively zero out the program in its yearly budget. After using the bill to greenwash the administration’s environmental record, the Interior Department and the Forest Service missed a key deadline earlier this month to nominate projects for funding through the program. “

I think it’s hard to argue that GAOA is a bad thing (but possible, because the wrong kind of people worked to get it through Congress (Rs), and it relies on money from the wrong kind of activities (fossil fuels)). Still it’s hard for me to imagine, after asking the Regions where they want to spend the bucks, that missing a deadline had anything to do with … not wanting the money?  for partisan reasons?

And groups like the Center  seem mostly focused on “bad things Interior does when R’s are in charge,” and the FS tends not to be as prominent.  Certainly Jim Hubbard is not David Bernhardt in terms of vitriol attraction possibilities.

Still, does anyone know…was the Forest Service also late? And if so, why?

This is the CWP…

Quote of the day
This administration can’t resist the urge to break the law, and this order is a perfect example of why they can’t be trusted to protect our environment. They have no interest in conservation; even with clear direction and guidance from Congress they are doing their best to sabotage the Land and Water Conservation Fund. They’re just trying to smash and grab whatever they can on their way out the door when they should focus on working with the Biden transition team.”
—Chairman Raúl Grijalva, The Hill

If the FS is late, I would not tend to assume, with Mr. Grijalva, that the reason would be “sabotage of the LWCF.”  But I could be wrong…

5 thoughts on “Does Anyone Know?: Is the Forest Service Late with List of GAOA Projects and Why?”

  1. What I have heard 2nd hand locally is the same old problem: when money becomes available, opportunities need to be prioritized. However, those prioritization debates within local leadership forums tend to be arguments on what to fund and why, which turn into stalemates, and hence, missed deadlines.

    I am not presenting an actual description of what is happening…just attempting to connect the dots from what I am hearing.

  2. Yes.

    *The deadline for the Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service to submit its project lists for deferred maintenance and LWCF projects was last week. The agencies submitted lists for maintenance projects on time. But the LWCF lists arrived a week after the Nov. 2 deadline, following a Nov. 9 memo from the Trump Administration that delegated authority to the Interior and Agriculture departments to release the LWCF funding lists.

    The lists included no details on specific projects or costs, even though those details — like $116 million for 61 ready-to-go BLM, Fish and Wildlife and National Park Service projects — were circulated by federal land agencies earlier this year when lawmakers were studying the Great American Outdoors Act. (The act requires “a detailed description of each project, including the estimated expenditures from the fund for the project for applicable fiscal years.”)

    “Apparently they’ve already lost their interest in taking care of our public lands,” Colorado’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said in an emailed statement.*

    And worse.

    *Secretary David Bernhardt’s new order requires governors and local governments to approve land sales. Gale said that could create lengthy delays, or mean projects get nixed before they’re off the ground. “If I’m a private landowner, I’m upset by this just as much as any other people that value public lands and waters should be.”*


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