A healthy American economy depends on a prosperous rural America. Nearly one in five of the dollars spent by the USDA Forest Service for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects is going to work in the Pacific Northwest.
The agency received $1.15 billion in Recovery Act funding. Together, Oregon and Washington have been allocated $236 million of that amount on projects that will help to restore natural resources while improving public safety and create job opportunities in economically distressed areas. We have approved projects that will improve energy efficiency, increasing the number of energy efficient buildings and at the same time improve infrastructure that supports public, administrative and recreation uses with minimal impact to ecosystem stability and conditions.
About two million people a year visit Siuslaw National Forest recreation sites, in the process contributing to local economies from Coos Bay to Tillamook. A $5.3 million Recovery Act project on the forest employs people to restore and upgrade deteriorated infrastructure such as visitor centers, campgrounds, trails, historic sites and boating facilities. It also means improving both safety and accessibility and yielding on-going economic returns and financial stability to local communities and residents well beyond the initial investment.