Home Hiking AHS Statement: The National Forest System: Restoring our Forest Infrastructure

AHS Statement: The National Forest System: Restoring our Forest Infrastructure

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PDF version of letter

Representative Abigail Spanberger

Chair, Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry

U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee

1239 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Representative Doug LaMalfa

Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry

U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee

322 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

September 25, 2019

 

Re: American Hiking Society Statement for the Record: The National Forest System: Restoring our Forest Infrastructure

 

Dear Chair Spanberger and Ranking Member LaMalfa:

 

On behalf of the American Hiking Society, our members, supporters, and the millions-strong hiking group nationwide, we thank the subcommittee for holding a listening to to look at the upkeep backlog affecting the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and urge the Forest Service’s in H.R. 1225, the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act.

 

The laws handed out of the House Natural Resources Committee this summer season and now has 304 cosponsors. Supporters of the proposal embrace over 3,000 native, state, and nationwide teams together with path managers, cities and counties, veterans’ organizations, contractors, state and regional tourism societies, preservation societies, conservation teams, the recreation business, unions, and native companies.

 

H.R. 1225 is a vital step to deal with the $21.5 billion upkeep backlog that exists throughout all federal lands.[1] The invoice creates a fund that would offer $6.5 billion over 5 years from power improvement revenues on federal land and water to deal with essentially the most urgent deferred upkeep wants, together with trails, inside the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Education.[2]

 

However, H.R. 1225 doesn’t at present embrace the U.S. Forest Service’s $5.2 billion backlog (together with $285 million for path upkeep) on its 193 million acres of public lands, which embody 158,000 miles of trails. Eighty-four million individuals yearly benefit from the 158,600 miles of trails managed by the USFS, which generate $9 billion in annual customer spending and help 143,000 jobs. Maintenance of those routes is crucial to the outside recreation business as a result of the company’s sustainable, multiple-use administration idea helps a wide range of actions and packages. Without together with the USFS within the resolution, the company will proceed to be restricted in its capacity to hold out the multiple-use strategy that permits prioritization of shared conservation stewardship, American jobs in rural communities, and supporting outside recreation, the USFS’ high income generator.

 

Agency Miles of Trails Trails Deferred Maintenance Amount
Forest Service[3] 158,726 miles and 7,156 path bridges  

$285.8 million (trails and path bridges)

National Park Service[4] 18,844 miles $462 million (trails)
Fish & Wildlife Service[5] 2,100 miles (13,300 miles (roads, trails, and bridges mixed)  

$52.7 million (trails est. based mostly on % of general DM $336 million for roads, trails, and bridges).

Bureau of Land Management[6] 13, 468 miles (82,000 miles of roads)  

$86.1 million (trails est. based mostly on % of general DM $615 million for roads, trails, and bridges).[7]

All Agencies  193,138 miles path particular $886 million (est.)

 

We urge inclusion of the U.S. Forest Service as a part of a complete resolution to deal with deferred upkeep throughout all federally managed lands.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

[1] See Exploring Innovative Solutions to Reduce the Department of the Interior’s Maintenance Backlog Before the H. Comm on Natural Resources, 115th Cong. (2018) (assertion of U.S. Dep’t of the Interior), out there at https://www.doi.gov/ocl/doi-maintenance-backlog; See additionally U.S. Dep’t of Agric., Office of Inspector Gen., Forest Service Deferred Maintenance 2 (May 2017), out there at https://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/08601-0004-31.pdf.      

[2] This funding contains funds from Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) income, which additionally offers funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

[3] See Deferred Maintenance Needs and Potential Solutions on Federal Lands

Administered by the Department of the Interior and the USDA Forest Service Before the S.Comm on Energy and Natural Resources, 116th Cong. (2019) (assertion of Lenise Lago, Associate Chief, USDA Forest Service), out there at https://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings-and-business-meetings?ID=69C0BD6D-0DAD-4CEC-8FE0-06946A0EA883. See additionally Carol Hardy Vincent, Congressional Research Serv., Deferred Maintenance of Federal Land Management Agencies: FY2007-FY2016 Estimates and Issues 3 (Apr. 25, 2017), out there at https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43997.pdf. See additionally U.S. Dep’t of Agric., FY 2019 Budget Justification 75 (Feb. 2018), out there at https://www.fs.fed.us/sites/default/files/usfs-fy19-budget-justification.pdf.

[4] Nat’l Park Serv., Nat’l Park Serv. Asset Inventory Summary FY17, out there at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/plandesignconstruct/upload/FY17-Asset-Inventory-Summary-AIS-Servicewide_Report_508-3.pdf.

[5] FWS complete contains deferred upkeep not restricted to trails as path particular breakdowns will not be publicly out there. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serv., Bureau Highlights (2018), out there at https://edit.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/fy2019_bib_bh059.pdf; U.S. Dep’t of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Serv., Budget Justifications and Performance Information Fiscal Year 2019 NWRS-10 (2018),

[6] BLM complete contains deferred upkeep not restricted to trails as path particular breakdowns will not be publicly out there. Carol Hardy Vincent, Congressional Research Serv., Deferred Maintenance of Federal Land Management Agencies: FY2007-FY2016 Estimates and Issues 3 (Apr. 25, 2017), out there at https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43997.pdf.

[7] Trail particular knowledge not publicly out there. Bureau of Land Management, Roads and Trails Terminology 7 (2006), out there at https://www.blm.gov/documents/national-office/blm-library/technical-note/roads-and-trails-terminology.

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