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Great American Outdoors Act National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund Newsroom
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National Park Service announces historic investment for the preservation of the fortifications of Old San Juan (www.nps.gov)
San Juan National Historic Site superintendent Myrna I. Palfrey today announced the National Park Service (NPS) is investing close to $70 million dollars for the preservation of the historic fortifications of the park with support from various fund sources including the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), legislation that provides funding to improve infrastructure and expand recreation opportunities in national parks and other public lands. For fiscal years 2023 and 2024, the San Juan National Historic Site has embarked on a series of projects to ensure that historic fortifications are ready to meet challenges related to the effects of climate change and sea level rise. These funds will be used to enhance operations; complete conservation work on museum and archival collections, visitor services, protection and education; and the maintenance and preservation of the fortifications, buildings and landscapes that are part of the historic site.
Fee-free entrance to national parks on August 4 - Death Valley National Park (www.nps.gov)
Entrance fees will be waived on Friday, August 4 at Death Valley National Park and all other National Park Service (NPS) sites. This is the third anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), which is making a huge difference in the protection and enjoyment of national parks and other public lands.
Great American Outdoors Act is catalyst for major National Park Service improvements (www.nps.gov)
From the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC to Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state and beyond, the Great American Outdoors Act is making a huge difference in the protection and enjoyment of national parks and other public lands. On August 4, as the Department of the Interior commemorates the three-year anniversary of the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act, all National Park Service (NPS) entrance fees will be waived to celebrate the landmark legislation.
Interior Department Celebrates Great American Outdoors Act Anniversary with Fee-Free Day on Public Lands (doi.gov)
On Friday, August 4, the Department of the Interior will commemorate the three-year anniversary of the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), a bipartisan investment that improves visitor experiences, bolsters climate resilience, and invests in the economy by creating good-paying jobs in our national parks, wildlife refuges, recreation areas, and Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)-funded schools.
Historic cabin at Gates of Lodore undergoes improvements with funding from the Great American Outdoors Act (www.nps.gov)
The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) Legacy Restoration Fund (LRF) is financing preservation work on Dinosaur National Monument’s historic Wade and Curtis Cabin at Gates of Lodore.
Hanger Visitor Center Closed in Preparation for Upcoming Rehabilitation Project (www.nps.gov)
The Hanger Visitor Center at Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park has closed in preparation for the construction phase of the Texas White House Rehabilitation Project funded by the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) Legacy Restoration Fund. The project will correct the hangar’s structural issues and repair critical components of the aging building and adjoining carport.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park announces upcoming North Carolina road construction funded by the Great American Outdoors Act (www.nps.gov)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is using nearly $19 million in funding from the Great American Outdoors Act to reconstruct Lakeview Drive and repair Heintooga Ridge Road this summer. “We are pleased to have this opportunity to rehabilitate and extend the life of some of our roads in North Carolina, in particular Lakeview Drive,” said Deputy Superintendent Alan Sumeriski. “Funds from the Great American Outdoors Act will allow us to make critical repairs and improve access to popular park destinations in North Carolina.” Work will include the complete reconstruction of the 6.5-mile-long road, replacement of all guardrails, construction of ADA accessible parking spaces, new road signs, drainage repair and other miscellaneous work.
Historic East Rim Drive to Undergo Major Rehabilitation (www.nps.gov)
The scenic drive around the country’s deepest lake will be safer and smoother because of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) Legacy Restoration Fund. An approximately $56 million dollar project, scheduled to start in Crater Lake National Park this summer, will improve about 19 miles of East Rim Drive and a portion of the Cloudcap Spur Road. The historic East Rim Drive extends along the southern, eastern, and northern rim of the Crater Lake caldera, providing visitor access to panoramic views, a campground, hiking trails, picnic areas, geological formations, waterfalls, and overlooks of the volcanic caldera now filled with clear, blue water. Constructed in the 1930s, the narrow, wavy, potholed, rockfall-damaged roadway is structurally failing and in desperate need of an upgrade. The project will stabilize the road, replace sections of pavement, and incorporate modern safety standards for sight lines, curvature, and elevation changes to ensure a consistent travel width and more stable shoulder. It will also repair guard walls on several damaged historic rock walls, improve drainage structures, prevent further erosion, strengthen shoulders, and enhance parking areas with accessibility-compliant slopes, markings, curb cuts, walkways, and overlooks.
The Great American Outdoors Act deposits $22 million in the First Bank of the United States (www.nps.gov)
The First Bank of the United States is receiving a $22.2 million investment from the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) Legacy Restoration Fund. The iconic building in Independence National Historical Park will undergo an extensive rehabilitation in advance of the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 2026. Built between 1795-97 when Philadelphia served as the nation’s capital, the bank was the first building designed specifically for the new federal government. “Rehabilitating the First Bank will meet a long-held goal for the park,” said acting Superintendent Amnesty Kochanowski. “This national historic landmark was acquired in 1956 when the park was established but has been closed to the public for most of the park’s history. The restoration of the renowned building gives the park the opportunity to showcase aspects of the economy of the early republic and the role of the controversial national bank. I am thrilled to see this project truly underway.” The exterior work funded by GAOA will include the replacement of leaking metal roofing, flashings, hatches, and louvers. Marble and brick masonry will be stabilized, cleaned, and repaired. The interior renovations will correct moisture incursion problems, repair damage to walls, replace an elevator, update the electrical and HVAC systems, and add accessible restrooms and a fire suppression system. A new addition will serve as the main visitor entrance. The work will be performed by the Bedwell Company of West Chester, Penn., a small, local contractor.
Trail Work to Begin at Gooseberry Badlands (www.blm.gov)
Improvements to the Bureau of Land Management-administered Gooseberry Badlands Scenic Overlook Trail west of Worland will begin in July and continue into the fall. The site will remain open throughout the project, but sections of the trail will close temporarily while under construction. The project, funded by the Great American Outdoors Act, will improve public access to the Gooseberry Badlands, including improved access for people with disabilities. “Visitation to the Gooseberry Badlands has steadily increased over the past few years, so the GAOA funding is good timing,” said BLM Worland Field Manager Mike Phillips. “I think people will enjoy the safer, more sustainable trail when the work is complete, and we’ll be able to more easily maintain it in the future.” The project will stabilize the existing natural trail; reroute sections of trail to address drainage and erosion concerns; repair the existing boardwalk; and replace culverts. A notable result of the project is that the parking lot, upper trail and boardwalk will be accessible to people with disabilities. Other improvements will include sheltered picnic areas, benches and interpretive signage.
Oakland Plantation Enslaved Cabin/Tenant House repaired with funding from the Great American Outdoors Act (www.nps.gov)
The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) Legacy Restoration Fund recently financed a rehabilitation project of the North Enslaved Cabin/Tenant House at the Oakland Plantation Unit of Cane River Creole National Historical Park. The preservation of the cabin was a park priority as it is one of only two such buildings remaining in the quarters of Oakland Plantation. The project included, both, exterior and interior work. The work crew meticulously repaired and painted window sills and jams, re-glazed window glass and gently re-attached the historic asphalt shingle siding to the exterior. Inside the cabin the crew repaired damaged tongue and groove flooring and reset brick pavers in the fireplace hearth. During the work, the historic linoleum was discovered and preserved in place with a plexi-glass covering that allows visitors to view the historic floor covering. The work was performed by a GAOA-funded Maintenance Action Team (MAT) composed of skilled craftspeople from the National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC). HPTC recruits, trains and employs people in traditional historic restoration and preservation techniques and trades. Several geographically based MATs travel to national parks to train and work alongside park staff to complete small, but critical, maintenance rehabilitation and repair projects on historic structures. MATs enable the National Park Service to complete projects that require knowledge and competency in traditional trades in a consistent and cost-effective manner.
Fort Smith National Historic Site receives Great American Outdoors Act funding to restore historic Commissary Building (www.nps.gov)
Preservation work is taking place on the historic Commissary Building in Fort Smith National Historic Site with funding provided by the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) Legacy Restoration Fund. The Commissary Building, completed in 1839, is the oldest standing structure in Fort Smith. It has been a supply building, family dwelling, office space for Judge Issac C. Parker, and a museum for the town of Fort Smith. Restoration, preservation and repair work is being completed this year on interior features consisting of lime-wash over masonry walls, lime plaster over wood lath and lime plaster on masonry, as well as the exterior made of native stone and brick. "We appreciate the funding from GAOA and the work of the skilled and knowledgeable MAT team that are enabling the rehabilitation and preservation of one of our most important historic structures,” said Superintendent Lisa Conard Frost. The work is being performed by a Maintenance Action Team (MAT) from the National Park Service (NPS) Historic Preservation Training Center. MATs are composed of NPS staff who are trained in historic restoration and preservation work. They travel to national parks to perform smaller, but critical, maintenance rehabilitation and repair projects on historic structures. MATs enable the NPS to complete projects that require consistent high-quality work from skilled craftspeople at a time when fewer people are practicing traditional trades.
Grand Canyon National Parks seeks public comments on North Rim water system (www.nps.gov)
The National Park Service (NPS) is beginning civic engagement to seek public input on proposed improvements to the water system at the North Rim and inner canyon in Grand Canyon National Park. Public comments will be accepted from June 22 until midnight, July 5, 2023, and used to refine the project proposal. The water system improvements are part of a proposed Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) Legacy Restoration Fund project called Rehabilitate the North Rim and Roaring Springs Utility Systems. The North Rim water system improvements would result in a reliable water system to meet supply needs at the North Rim and in the cross canyon corridor from Supai Tunnel to Cottonwood Campground for a projected lifespan of up to 75 years. The improvements are needed because the existing North Rim water system is past its design life resulting in frequent failures with extended periods of service outages that require continual repairs in a hazardous environment.
Snee Farmhouse received $109,000 from the Great American Outdoors Act for rehabilitation project (www.nps.gov)
Charles Pinckney National Historic Site received funding from the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) Legacy Restoration Fund to address a window shutter and hardware rehabilitation project at the Snee Farmhouse. The shutter system project was a park priority as it plays a critical role in the Severe Weather Emergency Action Plan by protecting both the single pane windows and the interior exhibits and contributing to the historic character of the Snee Farm residence.
Bureau of Land Management opens new facilities partially funded by the Great American Outdoors Act (www.blm.gov)
The Bureau of Land Management is proud to announce the opening of new facilities in Maupin for the BLM and partners, including regional Tribes, to coordinate management of some of Oregon’s most treasured natural resources. The new facilities include an office, workshop, and seasonal housing and will serve as the operations center for recreation staff who enhance the visitor experience on the Lower Deschutes Wild and Scenic River. A decade in the making, this project was made possible through partial funding by the Great American Outdoors Act, a historic investment to address deferred maintenance needs, increase recreational access to public lands, and improve the conservation of our lands and waters. Since the act was signed in 2020 about $45 million has been invested in public lands managed by the BLM in Oregon and Washington.
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