In Nelsonville, Portman Visits The Wayne National Forest, Highlights Great American Outdoors Act and REPLANT Act 

August 28, 2020 | Press Releases

NELSONVILLE, OH – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) visited Wayne National Forest and met with the forest’s leadership to discuss the Great American Outdoors Act, which was recently signed into law. The act includes Portman’s bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act, which will support more than 100,000 jobs over the next five years by helping to address the more than $12 billion backlog in long-delayed maintenance projects at the National Park Service. Portman worked to expand his legislation in the Great American Outdoors Act to include funding for deferred maintenance across all federal land management agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service. The Wayne National Forest has $4.6 million in deferred maintenance that could be eligible for funding under the Great American Outdoors Act.

Portman also visited the trailhead of the Baileys Trail System in Chauncey, where he met with local leaders to discuss the importance of the system, which provides miles of trails for cyclists, hikers, and runners to access and enjoy the Wayne National Forest.  In 2019, Portman sent a letter to Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) requesting support for the Bailey Trail System in The Wayne National Forest.  

In addition, they discussed Portman’s recently introduced bipartisan Repairing Existing Public Land by Adding Necessary Trees (REPLANT) Act that will provide funding for the U.S. Forest Service to replant forestland in national forests using the Reforestation Trust Fund (RTF). The Wayne National Forest has received nearly $400,000 over the past five years from the RTF for reforestation needs, largely due to pests and diseases. Reports have shown that the Wayne National Forest has a current backlog of 1,800 acres (550,000 trees) in need of replanting. President Trump has endorsed this legislation.  

“I enjoyed my visit to the Wayne National Forest. We discussed how the recently signed into law Great American Outdoors Act will help fund critical projects here at the Wayne,” said Portman. “In addition, we discussed my new bipartisan legislation, the REPLANT Act, to address the reforestation needs within our national forests. This legislation provides a wide range of benefits, including improving our environment by sequestering carbon dioxide and reinvigorating the ecosystems and native plant and animal species that depend on healthy forests, while also creating jobs and recreation opportunities on our forestland. These bipartisan efforts will help us do our part to preserve the Wayne National Forest and other national treasures for generations to come.” 

Photos from the visit are below: