The Payette National Forest’s McCall Ranger District office is located on West Lake Street. The forest is in central western Idaho, in parts of Valley, Idaho, Adams, and Washington counties. (Christina Lords/Idaho Capital Sun)
The money will be divided among four deferred maintenance projects for fiscal year 2022, according to a press release issued by Payette National Forest officials.
The four projects call for:
- Repairing several bridges on the Payette National Forest, including the Cottonwood, Weiser and Four Bit road bridges.
- Deferred maintenance projects on 50 miles of trails in the East Fork Trail Complex, which are designed to improve visitor access.
- Chip sealing and pavement leveling along the South Fork of the Salmon River Road, which forest officials said will help protect chinook salmon habitat.
- Phase one of projects to reconstruct campgrounds in the west zone of the forest, including the Huckleberry and Cabin Creek campgrounds and the Horse Cabin Flat site.
Deferred maintenance is often defined as scheduled maintenance that hasn’t gotten done. Overall, the projects are designed to improve public access to the forest and protect watersheds and wildlife habitat, Payette National Forest officials said.
In 2021, the Great American Outdoors Act provided funding for nine projects on the Payette National Forest, including trail maintenance, road and bridge repairs and campground upgrades.
The Payette National Forest, which includes Hells Canyon, is situated about 2.3 million acres of forest that stretch into parts of Valley, Adams, Idaho and Washington counties. Idahoans and visitors use the Payette National Forest for hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, snowmobiling, backcountry skiing and more.
Former President Donald Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law in 2020 after it was passed by the U.S. Congress. The act provides up to $9.5 billion over five years to address deferred maintenance through the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, which is where the money for the Payette National Forest projects is coming from.
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