The Interior Department has said that improvements to buildings and remediation of hazards will be among the priorities to be funded under a law enacted last year to address deferred maintenance at national parks, and wildlife refuges, Bureau of Indian Affairs schools and other Interior facilities.
An initial allotment of $1.6 billion is being made under the Great American Outdoors Act, which dedicates up to $1.9 billion annually from revenues from energy development on federal lands to infrastructure projects at Interior, with most of it dedicated toward the National Park Service.
The initial allotment will be used for more than 160 projects at “recreation facilities, visitor centers, dams, water and utility infrastructure, schools and other historic structures. Other projects aim to increase public access by restoring and repairing roads, trails, bridges, and parking areas,” the department said.
Sponsors of the bill that became law last year said that the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and Forest Service have more than $19 billion in deferred maintenance projects pending, about three-fifths of that at the NPS.