About GAOA


The U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior) Great American Outdoors Act National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund (GAOA LRF) program invests in much-needed maintenance for critical facilities and infrastructure in our national parks, wildlife refuges, recreation areas, and Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)-funded schools.

About the Legislation 

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Press Release: Fee-Free Day on Public Lands to Celebrate GAOA Anniversary

The Great American Outdoors Act, enacted on August 4, 2020, is the single largest investment in public lands in U.S. history. This landmark legislation established:

  • The National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund (GAOA LRF) to address the deferred maintenance and repair (DM&R) backlog on public lands. It was authorized at up to $1.9 billion annually for five years from fiscal year 2021 to fiscal year 2025.
  • Permanent full funding for the existing Land and Water Conservation Fund of $900 million annually.

Purpose of the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund

America’s public lands are national treasures. Lands managed by Interior include 480 million acres at 2,400 locations—20 percent of the country’s total lands and waters. Each year, millions of people visit our public lands to enjoy the beauty and recreation opportunities they offer. However, years of shrinking budgets and increasing visitor usage led to a backlog of deferred maintenance and repair projects. GAOA LRF provides funding for overdue maintenance and infrastructure needs managed by Interior. This helps ensure visitors and staff are safe and comfortable as they access our national parks, public lands and roads, national wildlife refuges, and BIE-funded schools.

GAOA LRF works together with funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Line Item Construction, Federal Lands Transportation Program, entrance fees (authorized by The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act), Facility Operations & Maintenance Funding through annual discretionary appropriations, and other investments to strengthen our infrastructure and prepare it to meet future needs. Prior to GAOA LRF, many large projects were out of reach. These projects—involving recreation facilities, visitor centers, dams, water and utility infrastructure, schools, historic structures, roads, trails, bridges, and other assets—create jobs, support the economy, and benefit local communities as they preserve our public lands. Interior’s strategy for maximizing the impact of GAOA LRF funding can be found in the GAOA LRF Strategic Plan

Program Funding

Funding for GAOA LRF is divided among four Interior bureaus and one agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA): Interior’s National Park Service (70 percent), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (5 percent), Bureau of Land Management (5 percent), Bureau of Indian Education (5 percent), and USDA's U.S. Forest Service (15 percent).

GAOA LRF is financed by 50 percent of all energy development revenues from oil, gas, coal, or alternative or renewable energy development on Federal land and water, up to $1.9 billion per fiscal year.

GAOA LRF Program Operations

Each year, Interior recommends projects for GAOA LRF funding that support the following program goals:

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Improve Interior’s financial health by reducing deferred maintenance, reducing departmental asset management costs, and incorporating additional funding sources

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Maximize citizens served by improving Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility, expanding recreation access, and prioritizing high-use facilities

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Protect those we serve with projects that increase safety for the public, BIE-funded school students, school staff, and Interior's workforce

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Plan for the future with projects that incorporate conservation, future recreational needs, and educational opportunities into the design

Interior also considers other factors when determining which projects to recommend for GAOA LRF funding, including project readiness, whether projects are high-cost and difficult to fund through other means, and alignment with Administration priorities.

For more information about the types of projects that are being funded by GAOA LRF, see Projects.

Maintenance Action Teams

To expand the reach of GAOA LRF funding to a broader range of Interior sites, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fund Maintenance Action Team (MAT) activities. These MATs primarily consist of federal employees who mobilize regionally to work on smaller scope construction, demolition, rehabilitation, or preservation activities. For more information about MATs, please visit our MAT webpage.


For more information on GAOA LRF program operations, see Frequently Asked Questions.


Click an icon below to explore a bureau GAOA LRF website

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