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Government announces funding for ecosystem restoration projects

By Ashtyn Asay - | May 12, 2022

Benjamin Zack, Standard-Examiner file photo

In this July 12, 2017, photo, Tyler Arnold holds an adult boreal toad found in the Monte Cristo Range.

The White House announced Thursday the allocation of over $68 million to 125 ecosystem restoration projects, including several to eradicate invasive species and improve access to public lands in Utah. The funds are provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“President [Joe] Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation investment that will allow us to restore healthy ecosystems across the country,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a press release. “This is an important step towards building a better America for people and wildlife, for generations to come.”

This $68.4 million is part of the $1.4 billion in investments that will be made by the Department of the Interior toward ecosystem restoration efforts over the next five years.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law intends to build on already proven wildlife and natural resource conservation initiatives and partnerships, as well as support local economies and communities.

Funding announced Thursday will invest in projects in 20 states, tribes and territories. Projects impacting Utah that will be supported by this funding include:

  • Pilot Pond Reconstruction to Support Fish and Wildlife Habitat and Livestock Watering — $80,000.
  • Rich County Riparian Grazing Exclosure — $40,000.
  • Increasing Westwide Detection of Invasive Species Through Additional Environmental DNA Collection and Analysis — $150,000.
  • Increasing Reclamation’s Biocontrol Efforts to Support Invasive Plant Eradication Efforts– $50,000.
  • Eradicating Invasive and Noxious Plants in Riparian and Upland Habitats in Iron and Beaver Counties in Utah — $50,000.
  • Restoration Actions to Improve Recreation Opportunities Along the San Juan River, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area — $45,000.
  • Watershed Restoration and Recreation Connectivity Design Across Multiple Landowners, East Zion National Park — $100,000.
  • Increase Recreational Access and Accessibility on BLM Managed Public Lands — $1,340,278.
  • Optimizing Resilience and Adaptation for Restored Native Seedings in Sagebrush Steppe — $500,000.
  • Increase Native Seed Production for Restoration in Upper Colorado Basin National Parks — $200,000.
  • Increase Native Seed Production for Restoration in Intermountain National Parks — $220,000.

Other multi-state, nationwide or tribal projects could also impact Utah. The announcement stated that $1.8 million is available in grants to support measures that prevent the introduction or spread of invasive species. The deadline for proposals is June 22 of this year.

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