BLM Enhances Watershed Restoration Initiative Agreement with Utah Partners
SALT LAKE CITY — The Bureau of Land Management is growing its partnership with the Utah Department of Natural Resources for the Watershed Restoration Initiative by committing approximately $3.8 million of funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for habitat restoration, watershed health, and hazardous fuels removal. The funding will be used for 17 projects focusing on restoring habitat, improving watershed health, and reducing the risk of wildfire on 21,923 acres of BLM public lands within Utah.
“The Watershed Restoration Initiative continues to be an important partnership with the BLM to accomplish habitat restoration and fuels reduction on a large landscape scale,” said BLM Utah State Director Greg Sheehan. “Our continued partnership supports collaborative restoration work across administrative boundaries for wildfire mitigation treatments, contracts, equipment, project monitoring, and application of native seeds. These restoration projects are a crucial part of keeping ecosystems resilient, mitigating environmental hazards, and conserving critical resources for current and future generations.”
The Watershed Restoration Initiative is a partnership-based program focusing on improving watershed health, biological diversity, water quality and yield, habitat for wildlife, and vegetation resilience due to drought and wildfires. Since its establishment in 2006, the Watershed Restoration Initiative has received $316 million in funding from more than 600 partners, created approximately 5,500 jobs, and treated 2.25 million acres of lands in Utah.
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments in wildland fire management in Utah will increase fuels treatment in areas with high wildfire hazard potential, helping to protect homes and businesses in the wildland-urban interface and public drinking water. These efforts will promote climate resiliency across landscapes and communities.
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