President’s Investing in America agenda to invest $5 million in restoration work in Alaska
Anchorage, Alaska – As part of the President’s Investing in America agenda, the Bureau of Land Management will invest $5 million from the Inflation Reduction Act for the protection and conservation of wildlife habitats and recreation opportunities on public lands in Alaska. This funding will be focused in a landscape area called Birch Creek and Fortymile Wild and Scenic Rivers Restoration Landscape.
This funding is part of the BLM’s announcement to invest $161 million in ecosystem restoration and resilience on the nation’s public lands. The work will focus on 21 “Restoration Landscapes” across 11 western states, restoring wildlife habitat and clean water on public lands and strengthening communities and local economies.
These investments follow the release of the Department’s restoration and resilience framework to leverage historic investments in climate and conservation to achieve landscape-level outcomes across the nation. The Department is implementing more than $2 billion in investments to restore our nation’s lands and waters, which in turn is helping to meet the conservation goals set through the America the Beautiful initiative.
“BLM Alaska has been on the leading edge of using applied science to enhance aquatic habitats degraded by past mining for the last 10 years,” said BLM Alaska State Director Steven Cohn. “Moving beyond small-scale treatments to landscape level investments in both assessment and strategic restoration provides a unique opportunity to partner with regional stakeholders with the goal of achieving tangible and measurable improvements in watershed health within these regions.”
This landscape area in Eastern Interior Alaska contains nationally significant cultural, recreational, historic, archaeological, geological and wildlife values that the BLM have been working to conserve for decades. Placer mining is part of the region’s cultural heritage but has also left behind degraded streams and impaired water quality. Restoration investments, which contribute to a significant cross-agency initiative to restore impacted salmon habitat in the Yukon, Kuskokwim and Norton Sound region, will improve our understanding of aquatic habitat conditions and help strategically focus restoration efforts where it can have the greatest benefit for salmon.
These investments further the work of the Department’s Gravel to Gravel Keystone Initiative, a mountains-to-the-sea assessment and restoration approach, to enhance our understanding and improve the resilience of ecosystems and salmon in Alaska’s Yukon, Kuskokwim and Norton Sound region.
Nationally, efforts in these restoration landscapes will improve the health of public lands that are being significantly degraded by invasive species, unprecedented wildfire events, unregulated use, and climate change. With these investments, landscapes will be better able to provide clean water, habitat for fish and wildlife, opportunities for recreation, and will be more resilient to wildfire and drought.
Resilient public lands are critical to the BLM’s ability to manage for multiple use and sustained yield. Once-in-a-generation funding from the Inflation Reduction Act will be directed to landscapes where concentrated, strategic investment through partnership can make the most difference for communities and public resources under the BLM’s management.
President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, investing in nature-based solutions, and driving over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating good paying jobs and building a clean energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient. The funding announced today complements the $300,000 of funding these areas have received from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Learn more about the BLM’s restoration landscapes at BLM’s StoryMap.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.