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BLM announces $28m conservation investment

David Sowders
Posted 9/13/23

The Bureau of Land Management last week announced $28 million in investments, from the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, to support conservation and restoration on public lands.

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BLM announces $28m conservation investment


The Bureau of Land Management last week announced $28 million in investments, from the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, to support conservation and restoration on public lands.

Those investments are going toward partnerships between the BLM and six organizations, states and the Navajo Nation. The partners are The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, the Mule Deer Foundation, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Navajo Nation’s Diné Native Plants Program.

The partnerships will help BLM implement critical conservation projects in sagebrush, forest, grassland, desert and aquatic ecosystems through a collaborative approach with partners. The investments will leverage additional funding, connect to local communities and ensure the long-term success of restoration efforts on public lands.

The $28 million in funding for the six partnerships comes in addition to previously announced plans to infuse $161 million from the Inflation Reduction Act in 21 Restoration Landscapes and the close to $40 million the BLM deployed in these areas from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The six include:

A $9.9 million partnership with The Nature Conservancy to increase the scope and speed of low-tech process-based restoration (such as creating natural-looking beaver dams and rock structures) in key western watersheds to support healthy riverscapes and intact sagebrush ecosystems. The partnership will include up to seven landscapes in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Oregon and Utah.

An $8.9 million partnership with Trout Unlimited on a large-scale, coordinated watershed and aquatic restoration initiative across arid landscapes of the Upper Colorado Basin, California Great Basin and Columbia Pacific Northwest regions. This initiative will improve drought resiliency, promote aquatic connectivity, and conserve ecosystems, habitats and the species that depend on them.

A $3.5 million partnership with the Mule Deer Foundation on BLM-managed lands to improve and conserve important habitat for mule deer and sage grouse. This agreement will focus on defending and growing core sagebrush habitat.

Across BLM-managed lands in the West, $2.5 million will be used to employ and manage a team of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers’ field staff to inventory, modify and remove fences on BLM lands in areas of identified need. The partnership will also include BHA members, supporters and corporate partners to assist with fence work.

In New Mexico, $1.8 million will fund a partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to support project work through its Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative and Southern Plains Grassland Program.

In New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, $1.2 million will fund the Diné Native Plants Program, a native plant seed banking and ecological restoration program. The funding will support project outreach and expand the cultural plants aspect of the program for another two years. The BLM and Navajo Nation will collaborate to establish a seed certification program and administrative pathways for the program to be able to market and sell native plant materials to Federal and non-Federal agencies, including directly to the BLM.