The federal government has given final approval to an $8.5 million maintenance contract at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

The U.S. Forest Service awarded South Carolina-based EnviroSmart the 5-year contract in August which prompted a protest by union workers contracted with Swift & Staley - the Kevil company which has conducted maintenance operations at the park since 2010.

The U.S. Attorney General's office will soon decide whether to uphold a protest aimed at stalling a Land Between the Lakes maintenance contract won by a South Carolina-based company.

The U.S. Forest Service awarded EnviroSmart the contract in late August, over local company Swift & Staley, which has managed road, trail and facility maintenance along with environmental services for the last three and a half years.