NAFSR (FS retirees organization) was kind enough to generate and post this summary of the Infrastructure Bill (passed, not to be confused with the Recon bill we have discussed earlier). So many items of interest to discuss! Let’s look at one big chunk of $ here, lots of diverse goodies we might not expect to find:
40804(b) the portion designated for the FS is directed to be spent as follows:
• (1) $150 million for FS to enter into landscape-scale contracts, including stewardship contracts, to
restore ecological health on federal land (over 10,000 acres per contract) and $100 million to DOI to
establish a Working Capital Fund that may be accessed by both DOI and USDA to fund requirements
of landscape-scale contracts, including cancellation and termination costs, consistent with section
604(h) of HFRA and periodic payments over the span of the contract period
• (2) $160 million for FS to provide funds to States and Tribes for implementing restoration projects on
federal land through the Good Neighbor Authority
• (3) $400 million for USDA to provide financial assistance to facilities that purchase and process
byproducts from ecosystem restoration projects, based on a ranking of the need to remove the
vegetation and whether the presence of a new or existing wood product facility would substantially
reduce the cost of removing the material. Also encourages the spending of other federal funds based
on the ranking criteria for removal of vegetation and presence of a wood processing facility or forest
worker is seeking to conduct restoration treatment work on or in close proximity to the unit.
• (5) $50 million for FS to award grants to States and Tribes to establish rental programs for portable
skidder bridges to minimize stream bed disturbance on non-Federal land and Federal land.
• (6) $100 million for FS to detect, prevent, and eradicate invasive species at points of entry and grants
for eradication of invasive species on non-federal land and on federal land
• (7) $100 million (split between DOI and FS) shall be made available to restore, prepare, or adapt
recreation sites on Federal land, including Indian forest land or rangeland with (as described in
o $35 million shall be made available to FS to restore, prepare, or adapt recreation sites on Federal
land, including Indian forest land or rangeland, that have experienced or may likely experience
visitation and use beyond the carrying capacity of the sites.
o $20 million shall be made available to FS for the operation, repair, reconstruction, and
construction of public use recreation cabins on National Forest System land; and the repair or
reconstruction of historic buildings that are to be outleased under section 306121 of title 54,
United States Code. Of the 20 million, $5 million shall be made available to the Secretary of
Agriculture for associated salaries and expenses in carrying out that subparagraph.
o A project shall not be eligible for funding under this subsection if funding for the project would
be used for deferred maintenance, as defined by Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board;
and the DOI or USDA has identified the project for funding from the National Parks and Public
Land Legacy Restoration Fund.
• (8) $100 million to FS to restore native vegetation and mitigate environmental hazards on federal and
non-federal previously mined land.
• (9) $130 million for FS to establish and implement a national revegetation effort on Federal and nonFederal land.
• (10) $80 million to FS establish a collaborative-based, landscape scale restoration program to restore
water quality or fish passage on Federal land, in coordination with DOI. Section 8004(f) includes
language establishing this competitive program for five-year proposals of not more than $5 million
each. Gives priority to a project proposal that would result in the most miles of streams restored for
the lowest amount of Federal funding.
Lots of goodies here for everyone… I thought the $400 mill for financial assistance to groups that “purchase and process byproducts” was interesting; so far that has seemed like a place where financial nudges could help restoration efforts along.
Tomorrow.. the NEPA-related provisions.