Secretary of the Interior Establishes Task Force and Timeline To Develop Strategy For Attacking Maintenance and Repair Backlog

Wasting NO time now that the Great American Outdoors Act has been signed by President Trump, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has created the a coordination and implementation task force to reconnoiter the National Park System, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and create a road map to “effectively, expeditiously, and successfully “ determine a priority punch list of projects that will maximize the billions of dollars set aside through the Great American Outdoors Act for tackling the backlog of repairs that have built up over the years of neglect from prior presidential administrations. They’ve been given two months to come up with a strategy to do this, per the Secretary’s Order (you can read it HERE).

As an avid outdoorsman – whether it’s hiking, Jeeping, hunting, exploring, fishing, or just being out in the cathedral of nature – I cannot express how happy I am with President Trump’s leadership. Where the last administration just stole public lands for political gain, President Trump has unlocked and returned the land to the people. Where the last tone-deaf administration failed miserably to maintain our public lands because “politics” and “selfies” were more important, President Trump has listened to the people and conservation groups like the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and unlocked billions of dollars to repair the neglect of the last few administration and maintain the lands for future generations.

Per Secretary Bernhardt’s order, the task force – headed up by Margaret Everson, acting director of the National Park Service – shall:

  • Develop a strategy to maximize the impact of the Great American Outdoors Act. The strategy shall ensure a timely project proposal and review process that minimizes delay and ensures decisive action; cuts across Bureaus; and includes establishment and utilization of a centralized project management office.
  • Identify an initial list of priority deferred maintenance projects that are ready to be implemented in Fiscal Year 2021 and provide the list to the Secretary of the Interior within 50 days of the date of this Order.
  • Evaluate staffing needs and direct relevant Bureaus/Offices to initiate necessary hiring and recruitment efforts.
  • Identify additional policies and/or revisions to existing policies or practices that are needed to maximize successful implementation of the Great American Outdoors Act.
  • Develop best management practices for defened maintenance projects.
  • Recommend such other actions as may be necessary to fulfill the goals of this Order.

This is great news for America’s public lands. This is something that “environmental” groups – like the Sierra Club – have never been able to do. Why? Because they’re so centered on politics and posturing that they have forgotten why they exist – if they ever knew.

Now is a great time to be a conservationist. It’s a great new day for America’s public lands!

See you on the trails!