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Bureau of Land Management Invests $15.2 Million to Protect Wildlife Habitats and Recreation in Arizona


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is taking significant steps towards protecting and conserving wildlife habitats and recreation opportunities on public lands in Arizona.

As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the BLM has allocated $15.2 million from the Inflation Reduction Act to support these conservation efforts. This funding will be specifically targeted towards two key landscape areas known as Sky Islands and Yanawant Restoration Landscapes. With this investment, the BLM aims to safeguard biodiversity, enhance ecosystem resilience, and strengthen local economies.

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Focused Investments for Conservation and Recreation

Under President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda, that $15.2 million that has been earmarked to protect and conserve wildlife habitats and recreation opportunities on public lands in Arizona, is coming at a time when the state’s wild lands are in such great need.

This funding will be primarily directed towards the Sky Islands and Yanawant Restoration Landscapes, two ecologically significant areas in the state.

Preserving the Sky Islands Landscape

The Sky Islands Restoration Landscape, characterized by its mountainous terrain rising over 6,000 feet above the desert floor, supports an unparalleled level of biodiversity. This unique region is home to over 30 federally listed species residing in both desert and alpine ecosystems. It plays a crucial role as a wildlife migration corridor for species such as jaguars and ocelots.

However, the Sky Islands landscape faces threats from severe drought and catastrophic wildfires. With the allocated funding, restoration initiatives will focus on reducing fuel loads, improving groundwater management, protecting wildlife migration corridors, and supporting the recovery of threatened and endangered species.

Additionally, investments in fencing will help address the issue of cattle trespass and protect the critical desert riparian ecosystem of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.

Enhancing the Yanawant Landscape

The Yanawant landscape, located north of the Grand Canyon, boasts diverse habitats ranging from desert scrub to ponderosa forests. Restoration investments in this area will aim to build a more resilient landscape by restoring habitats for threatened and endangered species, improving drought resilience, and promoting overall ecosystem health. Efforts will involve the removal of invasive species, noxious plants, and encroaching conifers, reducing fuel loads and wildfire risks. Restoration activities will also focus on reintroducing native grasses to enhance wildlife cover and connectivity while stabilizing soils and improving the watershed’s functionality.

Promoting Resilience and Conservation

These investments by the BLM align with the Department’s restoration and resilience framework and the America the Beautiful initiative’s conservation goals. The BLM’s commitment to investing over $2 billion in restoring the nation’s lands and waters underscores the significance of these initiatives. By addressing issues such as invasive species, wildfires, unregulated use, and climate change impacts, the BLM aims to improve the health and resilience of public lands. This will enhance their ability to provide clean water, vital habitat for fish and wildlife, and recreational opportunities while mitigating the effects of wildfire and drought.

So, it’s a really good thing to report, that:

The Bureau of Land Management’s investment of $15.2 million in Arizona’s Sky Islands and Yanawant Restoration Landscapes marks a crucial step towards safeguarding wildlife habitats and recreation opportunities on public lands. By targeting these key areas, the BLM aims to protect biodiversity, enhance ecosystem resilience, and support local economies. These investments, combined with partnerships and ongoing efforts, will enable the restoration of critical habitats, conservation of threatened and endangered species, and the improvement of water management systems. Ultimately, these initiatives contribute to the overarching goal of creating resilient public lands capable of supporting multiple uses and sustained yields.

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