The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will use a portion of funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to restore and protect habitats supporting at-risk plant and animal communities in the BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System. Other special BLM areas, such as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, Special Recreation Management Areas, Wildland Urban Interface areas, and riparian areas on other BLM-managed public lands will also receive ARRA funding for important restoration work. Riparian-wetlands play a prominent role in ensuring a life-sustaining and precious supply of water, acting as key indicators of watershed health. Through contracts and partnership agreements among state and other federal agencies, volunteer groups, non-governmental organizations (NGO), ranchers, and sportsmen, the BLM will expand its land restoration activities that help to:
|Wildlife biologists construct water catchment for bighorn sheep. BLM will spend $37 million on habitat restoration and improvements as part of the Recovery Act.|
- Protect and enhance wildlife and biological diversity,
- Improve water quality and the sources from which water is found,
- Ensure healthy and sustainable riparian areas, and
- Maintain quality of life through healthy watersheds.
Recovery Act Funding
The BLM received $305 million to help stimulate the economy through investments in the National System of Public Lands. A total of $37 million will be used to fund 137 projects that promote habitat restoration and improvements on public lands managed by the BLM.
A typical habitat restoration project can potentially create jobs in watershed restoration and increase the associated “green” values of healthy watersheds. A healthy watershed provides clean and increased volumes of water for recreation, supports thriving populations of wildlife valued by the public, and strengthens sensitive wildlife and plant species’ ability to survive.
Other benefits of habitat restoration and improvements promote healthy forests, increase the protection of local communities through reduced threats of wildfire, and result in the removal of invasive species and redistribution of native seeds. Local communities will also benefit from reduced soil erosion from wind and water, as well as improved water quality and availability.