Unfortunately, I missed posting about these feedback dates. There’s always next year… I’m not sure that there’s an email list you can get on to be notified of a comment period, but if anyone knows of such a mailing list, that would be handy. The below is from the FS national website.
Proposed Deferred Maintenance Projects for Fiscal Year 2022
Deferred maintenance projects proposed for the GAOA funding in fiscal year 2022 are open for public feedback until November 30, 2020. To review the proposed projects in your region and provide feedback, please use the following links:
R1 Project List – Northern Region
R2 Project List – Rocky Mountain Region
R3 Project List – Southwestern Region
R4 Project List – Intermountain Region
R5 Project List – Pacific Southwest Region
R6 Project List – Pacific Northwest Region
R8 Project List – Southern Region
R9 Project List – Eastern Region
R10 Project List – Alaska Region
The Forest Service will use these funds to maximize the benefits experienced by millions of Americans who visit and use their national forests and rangelands. Projects funded by this act will focus on reducing deferred maintenance and other infrastructure projects and thereby improve the conditions and resiliency of our nation’s forests for present and future generations.
To make the final selection, the agency analyzed project proposals based on seven criteria:
- Reduce deferred maintenance
- Promote management of America’s forests
- Improve visitor experience
- Contribute to rural economic development
- Improve visitor access
- Ensure health and safety
- Leverage partner contributions resources
All projects funded under the GAO Act will have completed National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other environmental compliance processes. Notice of final project selections will be provided to the public once Congress completes a full year appropriation that will include all funded projects.
Land and Water Conservation Fund
The Great American Outdoors Act secures $900 million in permanent funding each year for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). LWCF programs are managed by the Departments of Agriculture and Interior. The USDA Forest Service administers two LWCF programs – the State & Private Forestry (SPF) Forest Legacy Program and the National Forest System (NFS) Land Acquisition program – that together conserve critical and strategic lands across the Nation’s forests on both private and public ownerships. Forest Service LWCF projects enhance recreational access to existing public lands, conserve working timberlands vital for local economies, and protect critical watersheds.
For the SPF Forest Legacy program, the agency selected projects through the following process and criteria:
- The Forest Legacy Program works in partnership with State lead agencies.
- Projects are selected through a two-part competitive process – state-level and then national.
- The state level process ensures each project has local support and aligns with state priorities as identified in the State Forest Action Plans and Shared Stewardship agreements.
- The national level process considers defined environmental and economic benefits, strategic contribution to other conservation initiatives on the landscape, and likelihood of conversion to non-forest uses.
- Program funding is provided to states through grants to support program administration and project implementation.
- All lands protected through this program are held and managed by the state through conservation easements or land purchases.
For the NFS Lands Acquisition program, the agency selected projects through the following process and criteria:
- The National Forest System Lands Program works with our regional offices and partners to develop projects supporting the needs of local communities.
- Projects are selected through a two-part competitive process – regional-level and then national.
- The regional level process ensures each project has local support and aligns with National Forest System and partner priorities.
- The national level process considers local needs for recreation access, urgency of the acquisition, the level of local support for the acquisition, and other criteria.
For more information about the SPF Forest Legacy program, visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/private-land/forest-legacy
For more information about the NFS Lands Acquisition program, visit: https://www.fs.fed.us/land/staff/LWCF/