25. September 2020 · Comments Off on Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) funding – Randy Rasmussen · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

From: Randy Rasmussen
Sent: Wed, 23 Sep 2020
Subject: Re: Reminder and Update: National Directors Call

BCHA National Directors:

Regarding our conversation this evening about Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) funding, which is intended to address “priority deferred maintenance” over the next 5 years, the take-home message is this:

1. All interested BCH states/chapters should contact their local US Forest Service office to provide input on trail maintenance projects important to horsemen and that can be implemented in Fiscal Years (FYs) 2022 through 2025.
– The list of projects is more-or-less set in stone for FY’21, which starts October 1st–but they’ll need your help next field season with many of these too!

  1. Most, if not all, USFS District Rangers and Forest Supervisors are well aware of the GAOA and scrambled within the past several weeks to develop their lists for FY’21.
    – They should be reaching out to your chapters in short order, to develop their lists for FY’22 and beyond. Plus, there should be future “public listening sessions” for such input.
    – Either way, contact your local USFS officials *within the next few weeks* to let them know of your interest in providing input on specific trail maintenance needs (and how your chapter can help, including whether entering into a Cost-Share Agreement would be viewed as beneficial by local USFS officials).
  2. As a result of the 2016 National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act (aka,”Trails Act”), the USFS identified 15 priority areas throughout the nation to demonstrate progress in addressing the trail maintenance backlog.
    – A map and description of those areas can be found at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/trails/priority-areas
  3. The priority areas were established at a time when the USFS did not have special funding to address, in a broad fashion, their trail maintenance backlog. Now that GAOA funding will be available over the next 5 years. T
    – The agency will no doubt look far beyond these 15 priority areas to address priority deferred maintenance for trails. So don’t despair if your local forest is not within the current priority areas!

5. As Chairman Wallace said, for those chapters involved in trail maintenance projects with the BLM, National Park Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service, you are encouraged to also reach out to them to inquire about how you can help set priorities and engage in their use of GAOA funding.

Best, Randy Rasmussen, M.S.

Director, Public Lands & Recreation | Back Country Horsemen of America

WildernessAdvisor@bcha.org | 541.602.0713 | www.bcha.org

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