Breaking News:

LOCAL NEWS

Feds to send ‘once-in-a-generation funding’ to Utah, Western conservation projects

Sep 5, 2023, 9:20 PM

The Bureau of Land Management announced Tuesday $28 million is going to six organizations for land ...

The Bureau of Land Management announced Tuesday $28 million is going to six organizations for land and water conservation projects across the West, including in Utah. (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

(Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

SALT LAKE CITY — Federal land managers on Tuesday announced they are sending $28 million to six conservation groups to improve and conserve public lands across the West, including multiple projects in Utah.

The Bureau of Land Management picked the Salt Lake City-based Mule Deer Foundation, as well as the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Diné Native Plants Program, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and Trout Unlimited as a part of the program, using funds set aside from the Inflation Reduction Act passed last year.

“These projects … are made possible by once-in-a-generation funding that will help the BLM restore and protect our shared public lands, wildlife habit and clean water, all for future generations,” BLM director Tracy Stone-Manning said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning. “It’s difficult to overstate the importance of partnerships to our effort to restore our nation’s public lands.”

Details about exactly how the money will be spent are still being finalized, but Stone-Manning said all of the projects aim to help improve deserts, grasslands, forests and other ecosystems in the West, which will ultimately benefit the region’s natural resources, surrounding local communities and recreationists.

Leaders of the Mule Deer Foundation and Trout Unlimited, which are receiving $3.5 million and $8.9 million in funds, respectively, said Tuesday that they are eying projects in Utah with the money coming their way.

Steve Belinda, director of conservation for the Mule Deer Foundation, said the organization is looking at “multiple places” to conduct projects across southern Utah to help mule deer herds in the area, along with projects along the Utah-Idaho border. These would be in coordination with federal, state and tribal organizations, as well as private landowners.

Trout Unlimited CEO Chris Wood adds that the conservation group he oversees is looking to conduct Beaver Dam Analog work in the Brush Creeks area of the Uinta Mountains and Willow Creek, a tributary of the Green River in eastern Utah, as a part of its plan to improve the Upper Colorado River Basin.

In both cases, crews will install wood-like debris to help raise the water table of the creek, which, in turn, improves groundwater capacity, reforests the creek’s riparian area, offers late-summer flows and improves wildfire fuel breaks in the area in addition to improvements to habitats for native trout species, Wood explained.

“We’ll be … helping to promote irrigation efficiency for farmers and ranchers and then working on flow augmentation as we see drought becoming more and more pervasive,” he said. “Keeping as much water in stream as possible is really vital.”

Bureau of Land Management officials said that landscapes in Utah are being considered as a part of the $9.9 million directed to the Nature Conservancy, while the $1.2 million headed to the Diné Native Plants Program will focus on plant restoration projects on Navajo Nation land, including by Bears Ears National Monument.

The funding announced Tuesday tacks onto land conservation projects already announced through the Inflation Reduction Act. For example, the Department of the Interior announced in May that $9.6 million would go toward improvements to the Upper Bear River, out of $161 million worth of project funding.

The 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the 2020 Great American Outdoor Act have also generated millions of dollars aimed at improving public lands in recent years. Stone-Manning said all of the recent funding is important because Americans expect the Bureau of Land Management to manage public lands in a way that’s “healthy and functioning” for decades to come.

“We agree that that is our deep responsibility,” she said. “As such, this work represents a really timely opportunity to have measurable success toward that outcome and we can’t wait to get started.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Tooele County sheriff's deputies are investigating a shooting involving a 4-year-old who found a lo...

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

4-year-old discovered gun, accidentally shot sibling, police say

Police are investigating an accidental shooting in a Tooele County home involving a 4-year-old who found a loaded gun.

3 hours ago

Two people were hurt when this SUV rolled off I-15 near Perry on July 16, 2024. (Utah Highway Patro...

Josh Ellis

Two injured in rollover crash on I-15 in Box Elder County

Two people were seriously hurt after an SUV rolled off Interstate 15 in northern Utah early Tuesday morning.

4 hours ago

Power companies are not immune from the pressures of inflation and for us, that means we must pay m...

Matt Gephardt

How to save when higher energy costs have a third of Americans paying their power bills on credit

Power companies are not immune from the pressures of inflation and for us, that means we must pay more to keep our homes livable in these sweltering summer days. And those rising energy costs also trickle down onto us in other ways, i.e. an uptick in the cost of groceries as stores also have to pay more to keep the building cool.

12 hours ago

A woman is dead and her parents in critical condition after temperatures crossed a deadly threshold...

Kiersten Nunez

Young woman dies, parents critical after deadly hike in Snow Canyon

A deadly weekend for hikers in Utah has left three people dead in less than 48 hours, including a father and daughter in Canyonlands.

13 hours ago

Community members gathered on Monday to memorialize the teen killed in a West Valley shooting. (KSL...

Debbie Worthen

Community mourns loss of Judge Memorial athlete following West Valley shooting

Friends and family of a Judge Memorial high school student are mourning the loss of the 17-year-old after he was shot and killed this weekend.

13 hours ago

Department of Public Safety says the threats against state leaders is on the increase. (KSL TV)...

Darby Sparks

As Utah political threats rise, security measures becoming tighter, says DPS

The Department of Public Safety says threats in 2024 have already been high. Given the attempted assassination of a former president over the weekend, they say security measures could become even more rigid for political events locally.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Feds to send ‘once-in-a-generation funding’ to Utah, Western conservation projects