Secretary Vilsack just announced an additional $274 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for conservation and restoration projects in our nation’s forests. The money will mean more American jobs, better trails and scenery in the forests, and new work to maintain these national treasures. The announcement also brings the total figure for ARRA funds dedicated to National Forests to more than $936 million.
The Recovery Act projects we’re announcing today are central to creating jobs and building a better, stronger economy in the future,” said Secretary Vilsack. “These projects exemplify President Obama’s commitment to sustainability, reducing our environmental footprint and increasing energy efficiency, which will benefit the 178 million people who visit the National Forests each year, generate additional tourism activity and stimulate local economies.”
In Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, funding will go to restore Forest Service buildings constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930′s, and now used to hold environmental youth camps and by the general public for tourism.
In Pennsylvania, Recovery Act funds will be allocated to the improvement of the North Country National Scenic Trails network by the Student Conservation Association. The trails will be made safer and more enjoyable, and the work will involve partnership with the SCA.
In Alaska, ARRA funds will go to improvement of the Whistle Stop Program, an initiative between the Forest Service and the Alaska Railroad Corporation to upgrade access to the remote Kenai Peninsula.You can see more stories and a state-by-state funding breakdown on the official press release, and you can see a full list of National Forest projects funded by ARRA at the U.S. Forest Service web site.