Golden sun reflecting on mountains with still water in the foreground.

Program Impact

Benefits of the GAOA Program

Through the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund (LRF), the U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior Department) is investing in our public lands so they can be cherished and enjoyed for many years to come. GAOA LRF funding helps to maintain and restore assets managed by the Interior Department at recreational areas, wildlife refuges, national parks, and Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)-funded schools. GAOA funding also helps to accommodate the increased visitation our national parks and public lands have seen in the past few years. The impacts of GAOA are far-reaching with many beneficiaries, such as local communities, BIE-funded schools and staff, the natural environment, visitors, volunteers, and staff. 

Statistics below reflect funded projects from fiscal years 2021-2023.


Benefits for Visitors
Mountain peaks graphic below title. Statistics list on average per year: $1.6 billion DOI project investment, $1.8 billion contribution to GDP, and 17,000+ jobs supported.

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  • Ensures our beautiful national lands stay open and safe for the public’s enjoyment by repairing and upgrading buildings, campsites, trails, public roads, and other visitor infrastructure
  • 136 projects help improve Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility
  • Protects and preserves the historical, natural, recreational, and educational features of our national lands for the use and enjoyment of current and future visitors
  • Improves access to hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting activities on our national lands for many years to come
  • Supports environmental education opportunities for children and teens


Benefits for Local Communities


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  • Supports economic growth by contributing an average of 17,000 jobs to the economy per year
  • Estimated to generate an average of $1.8 billion per year for the U.S. economy
  • Invests in local economies and sustainably increases outdoor recreational tourism
  • Increases public safety and improves traffic flow by eliminating hazardous pedestrian and vehicle interactions and fixing weathered or failing roads, bridges, and dams
  • Repairs aging telecommunication systems, ensuring the ability of fire and law enforcement to respond to emergencies in and around national lands


Benefits for BIE-funded Schools and Staff

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  • Ensures BIE-funded schools are operational and safe
  • Improves facilities for the current 2,300 students enrolled and the thousands more to be enrolled in the future at BIE-funded schools
  • Ensures a positive educational experience for students by providing safe and modern facilities that are conducive to learning


Benefits for Underserved Communities

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  • Supports investment in underserved communities by ensuring people across the country have access to outdoor recreation on our national lands
  • Increases access to green spaces for low-income, urban families, which can improve overall health outcomes 



Benefits for the Climate

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  • Supports climate resiliency by managing erosion, ensuring shoreline stability, reducing flooding, and preventing wildfires
  • Advances clean energy development by utilizing solar power and reduces the energy footprint of our national lands by promoting energy efficiency and sustainable construction
  • Adapts existing buildings and infrastructure to be more sustainable and climate resilient, so that assets can withstand future threats like wildfire and storm surges


Benefits for Wildlife and the National Environment

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  • Supports wildlife refuges, ensuring a safe habitat for threatened and endangered wildlife, plants, birds, and fish 
  • Promotes ecosystem health by ensuring habitat rehabilitation and watershed protection
  • Nurtures biodiversity by rehabilitating fish ladders and wildlife corridors
  • Conserves landscapes that soak up floodwaters, recharge aquifers, and provide drinking water


Benefits for Our Employees and Volunteers

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  • Ensures the safety of our many employees and volunteers on our national lands, national parks, and wildlife refuges by maintaining structural integrity of buildings and ensuring safe working conditions 
  • Revitalizes housing and administrative structures to ensure basic functionality such as heating and to address health and safety concerns such as asbestos and lead paint removal
  • Provides workforce training for various groups, including Youth Corps and Maintenance Action Teams
  • Addresses deferred maintenance and repair needs by improving and enhancing public safety, student and workforce safety, and response suppression capabilities


Click an icon below to explore a bureau GAOA website.

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