On Friday, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service announced that $14.4 million of a larger $37 million package will be used to build cabins in the Chugach and Tongass National Forests.
In the package, $18 million is allocated to the construction and maintenance of cabins and historic buildings — of which $14.4 million is destined for Alaska — and the remaining $19 million is for recreation sites.
The money comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed in November, according to a press release from the Department of Agriculture.
The release says the purpose of the investment is to “improve the nation’s recreation infrastructure, which is critical to the health, wellness and prosperity of the American people.”
The National Forests in Alaska were singled out as part of a larger Department of Agriculture strategy — the Southeast Alaska Sustainability Strategy — to support local economies.
The release says that existing cabins managed by the Forest Service host thousands of people each year.
The money will be used for repairs to existing cabins and the construction of additional units in the forests.
Forest Service Chief Randy Moore says in the release, “Public lands have seen a remarkable surge in visitors over the past two years as people sought outdoor experiences during the pandemic. It is an important reminder that our recreation facilities play a crucial role to so many people.”
“The investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure law will help to ensure Forest Service facilities continue to meet the needs of present and future generations,” Moore said.