BLM Selects 2 Wyoming Sites for Sustainability Project
Written by Mac Watson on June 1, 2023
The Bureau of Land Management is developing a sustainability project that will focus on ecosystem restoration and the economic viability of communities who reliance on these lands is important to their livelihoods as well as traditions.
BLM has selected 21 Restoration Landscapes where they will dedicate $161 million toward the improvements in the health of these area to better provide clean water, habitat for fish and wildlife, opportunities for recreation, and more resilience to wildfire and drought. Two areas selected by BLM in Wyoming include La Barge and Muddy Creek.
According to experts at BLM, conservation success in the La Barge landscape will rely on collaboration and cross fence-line partnerships to manage the wildlife habitat and migration corridors and conserving and restoring priority habitat for the greater sage grouse. BLM investing in the sustainability in La Barge will work to remove invasive species, control erosion, and protect water sources. The amount of money assigned to this project is $10M, encompassing 2,685,208 total acres.
Muddy Creek, an important tributary of the Little Snake River, supports a rare community of native fish – Colorado River cutthroat, bluehead and flannelmouth suckers and roundtail chub. Flanked by important winter range and migratory corridors to the east, the landscape also has a core sagebrush habitat. The money invested into this project includes riparian and wetland enhancement, fence conversion and erosion control, all aimed at restoring natural ecologic function in the headwaters of the Colorado River basin. The total amount of money assigned to this project is $10M, with 644, 311 total acres.
Public lands that are resilient are critical to BLM’s “ability to manage for multiple uses and sustaining healthy yields. Funding from the Inflation Reduction Act will be directed to landscapes where concentrated, strategic investment can make the most difference for communities and public resources under the BLM’s management,” according to the Biden-Harris Administration media release.
In addition to projects supported with Inflation Reduction Act funding, the Biden-Harris Administration says BLM will prioritize projects funded under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in these landscapes which will “maximize the return on these once-in-a-generation investments, enhance durability and multiply the benefits of the restoration efforts.”
As the nation’s largest public lands manager, the BLM has restored millions of acres of public lands. Healthy ecosystems are critical to the BLM’s ability to manage public lands for multiple use and sustained yield, which is the core of our mission.
Work in Restoration Landscapes will coordinate and sequence different types of investments and treatments from across the BLM – including fuels, rangelands, wildlife, forestry, aquatics and recreation – to address the multiple threats that are limiting ecosystem function on our public lands.
Overall, by using the Inflation Reduction Act, teamed with Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding these landscape projects will more “efficiently engage partnerships and further multiply the return on these investments on behalf the American people – to pass on these lands to future managers and future generations of public lands users in better condition than we find them in today,” so states the Biden-Harris Administration.
That’s a mighty large goal for the Biden-Harris Administration. No timetable has been set as to when these projects should be completed.