President’s Investing in America agenda to invest nearly $27 million in restoration work in Idaho


Bureau of Land Management

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BOISE, Idaho– As part of the President’s Investing in America agenda, the Bureau of Land Management will invest $26.95 million from the Inflation Reduction Act for the protection and conservation of wildlife habitats and recreational opportunities on public lands in Idaho. This funding will be focused in three landscape areas called the East Idaho Rivers and Plains, Snake River Plain and Upper Salmon River Restoration Landscape Areas.

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.

“We are grateful that three important southern Idaho areas were selected for funding as Restoration Landscapes. BLM Idaho has a long history of working hand-in-hand with our partners on these landscapes, which is the Idaho way,” said BLM Idaho State Director Karen Kelleher. “These are once-in-a-generation opportunities to expand restoration on BLM Idaho-managed public lands and we are eager to get started!”

The South Fork, Henry's Fork, Main Stem of the Snake River and surrounding uplands are home to diverse native vegetation, from resilient mountain big sagebrush communities to large riparian cottonwood galleries. The BLM has a long and successful history in this area working with private landowners to protect valuable habitat and resources through conservation easements and acquisition of private lands. Restoring native plant communities on public land will build on that work, providing habitat for Threatened and special status species such as monarch butterflies, greater sage-grouse and the western yellow-billed cuckoo, connectivity for treasured big game and enhanced recreation opportunities. Projects will also seek to collaborate with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe to restore riparian areas on public lands and the Fort Hall Indian Reservation.

The Snake River Plain of southwest Idaho is a diverse, arid landscape in the most populous part of the state. Greater sage-grouse, the highest concentration of breeding raptors in North America, important winter range for mule deer, elk and antelope, and critical habitat for the threatened slickspot peppergrass are all at risk from the effects of a changing climate and increasing urbanization. Repeated cycles of fire and invasive annual grasses threaten the unique assemblage of plants and wildlife and pose a great risk to the human communities that live there. Restoring native grasses, perennial forbs, sagebrush and other shrubs is critical to the health of the region. The BLM will also work to expand fuel breaks, aiming to protect these investments in restoration.

The Upper Salmon River is Idaho’s core cold water refugia, where the BLM manages over 3,000 miles of streams that connect headwaters to river corridors. These aquatic systems are critical habitat for salmon, steelhead and bull trout. Lynx, wolverine, grizzly bear and greater sage-grouse inhabit the uplands. The ecological services these lands provide are central to the health and wellbeing of local communities and Tribal partners. Projects will replace culverts to improve stream connectivity, restore riparian habitat, treat invasive annual grasses, reduce fuels, increase diversity of grasses and forbs and enhance the health and resiliency of whitebark pine stands. Improving aquatic connectivity and water-saving practices and upgrading water conveyance systems will benefit all – residents, recreators, fish and wildlife.

Efforts in these restoration landscapes will improve the health of public lands that are being significantly degraded by invasive species, unprecedented wildfire events 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 $10.74 million 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.