CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The Bureau of Land Management recently announced a $41 million investment through President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda for ecosystem restoration. This funding will support 74 projects in 16 states, with two projects in Wyoming.
This is the third investment of ecosystem restoration funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which was passed by Congress in November 2021. The first two BLM investments from this program totaled about $61.5 million and were announced in 2022 and 2023.
The funding announcement also bolsters the Department of the Interior’s announcement today of the Sagebrush Keystone Initiative that directs restoration funding to defend and grow core landscapes in sagebrush ecosystems.
Nearly $6 million of today’s announced funding will be directed by the BLM to prioritized sagebrush landscapes across four states.
“Resilient landscapes are our best natural defenses against climate change,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning. “As we continue to see unprecedented wildfire, plants blooming uncharacteristically at different times of the year, warmer waters in our streams, and more, these investments are critical to providing clean water, reliable habitat, and resilience to wildfire for future generations.”
About half of the funds, $20.5 million, are slated for 26 projects in eight states under Good Neighbor Authority, which allows the BLM to collaborate with Tribal Nations and state governments to do restoration work on lands across multiple jurisdictions.
Other funded initiatives include:
- About $9.4 million for 15 projects in seven states that will restore abandoned mine lands. This funding is aimed at restoring wildlife habitat, removing abandoned equipment, and improving water quality.
- About $6.3 million for 15 projects in eight states and BLM’s Headquarters office to continue to implement the BLM’s National Seed Strategy, especially important for restoring lands damaged by rangeland fires, invasive species, severe storms and drought.
- About $1.8 million will be distributed to eight projects in six states that will improve recreation sites or public access. Some of these projects will expand campsites and day-use sites, construct trails and improve accessibility for visitors.
- About $862,000 will be sent to three projects in three states for eradicating and controlling invasive weeds. Invasive weeds crowd out native plants, often creating conditions that favor catastrophic wildfires or that take water away from native plants.
- Half of all funding ($22 million) will be spent in BLM’s Restoration Landscapes, continuing the bureau’s efforts to invest in these places and address threats to wildlife, recreation visitors and communities.