05/31/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/31/2023 13:19
This funding is part of the BLM's announcement to invest$161 million in ecosystem restoration and resilience on the nation's public lands. The work will focus on 21 "Restoration Landscapes" across 11 western states, restoring wildlife habitat and clean water on public lands and strengthening communities and local economies.
These investments follow the release of the Department's restoration and resilienceframework to leverage historic investments in climate and conservation to achieve landscape-level outcomes across the nation. The Department is implementing more than $2 billion in investments to restore our nation's lands and waters, which in turn is helping to meet the conservation goals set through the America the Beautiful initiative.
"BLM's North Park Restoration Landscape will revitalize habitat for greater sage-grouse and big game, improve water quality, and increase land productivity through partnerships with agriculture and the local community," said BLM Colorado Director Doug Vilsack. "The San Luis Valley Restoration Landscape will enhance riparian ecosystems like Blanca Wetlands and lands along the Rio Grande, increasing hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation opportunities."
Ecologically critical wetlands and riparian areas provide habitat for numerous birds and federally listed species, and the San Luis Restoration Landscape Area is sacred to a number of Tribes. Investments in restoring this landscape provide a unique opportunity for the BLM to conserve and restore wildlife habitat and fisheries, improve hunting and fishing opportunities, and foster climate resilience while benefiting historically underserved, disproportionately impacted communities. Projects will protect cultural and historic resources, expand recreational uses, and manage fuels and water resources at the headwaters of one of America's great rivers, the Rio Grande.
The landscape of North Park is one of the best places in the state to visit and experience core sagebrush habitat. These sagebrush communities, home to one of the largest wetland complexes in Colorado, are at high elevations that are more resilient to impacts from a changing climate. The landscape boasts critical winter range and migration corridors for big game, and numerous culturally significant sites, including the Northern Ute Trail. Investment in aquatic, riparian, wetland and terrestrial habitat improvements, fuels reduction and invasive species management will preserve historic and cultural sites and enhance recreational opportunities.
Efforts in these restoration landscapes will improve the health of public lands that are being significantly degraded by invasive species, unprecedented wildfire events, unregulated use, and climate change. With these investments, landscapes will be better able to provide clean water, habitat for fish and wildlife, opportunities for recreation, and will be more resilient to wildfire and drought.
Resilient public lands are critical to the BLM's ability to manage for multiple use and sustained yield. Once-in-a-generation funding from the Inflation Reduction Act will be directed to landscapes where concentrated, strategic investment through partnership can make the most difference for communities and public resources under the BLM's management.President Biden's Investing in America agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle out - from rebuilding our nation's infrastructure, investing in nature-based solutions, and driving over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating good paying jobs and building a clean energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient. The funding announced today complements the $800,000 of funding these areas have received from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Learn more about the BLM's restoration landscapes at BLM's StoryMap.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America's public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.