Interior to invest $161 million in Western landscape restoration

Jun 1, 2023

The Biden administration announced plans to direct $161 million into ecosystem restoration projects on public lands as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which funds job creation in industries that boost U.S. competitiveness, rebuild infrastructure, strengthen supply chains, and help build a clean energy economy.

The Bureau of Land Management will use the funds on 21 “restoration landscapes” across 11 Western states, for ecosystem restoration in the sagebrush steppe, wetland meadows, and watersheds on former industrial timberlands. These landscapes were chosen based on ecological need as well as importance to local communities.

“With today’s investment, we will be able to pass these lands to future generations in better shape than we find them today,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning. “We’re thrilled to be able to put people to work to benefit wildlife habitat, clean water, and the overall health and productivity of our public lands.”

How communities can avoid the amenity trap

The rising demand for homes in areas with an abundance of natural beauty and recreational opportunities has led to a scarcity of affordable housing for local residents, causing these communities to become “amenity traps.” A new report from Headwaters Economics analyzes four major challenges that amenity traps face: housing, infrastructure, fiscal policy, and natural disasters. The report explores solutions available to local, state, and federal officials, such as implementing regulations and incentives to increase housing supply across income levels, and limiting vacation homes.

Quick hits

Department of Interior announces $161 million for landscape restoration

The Hill | E&E News | Courthouse News | Department of the Interior [press release] | Arizona Republic [Arizona] | Missoulian [Montana] | Salt Lake Tribune [Utah] | KTNV [Nevada] | KATU [Oregon] | Rexburg Standard Journal [Idaho]

Colorado’s mountain towns are being loved to death. A new roadmap can help them escape the “amenity trap”

Headwaters Economics [report] | Colorado Sun

California lawmakers reintroduce Golden State wilderness package

E&E News

Three national forests in Colorado receive nearly $47 million for wildfire barriers

Colorado Sun

Opinion: Public has a chance to make difference on land management

Santa Fe New Mexican

Montana judge refuses to cancel first U.S. climate trial

E&E News

Bill to expand public land access for environmental justice communities introduced in Congress

Michigan Advance | Press & Guide

Wyoming sues Department of Interior over deadline for delisting grizzly population

Cap City News | Big Horn Basin Media

Quote of the day

There is a dawning recognition that these rural places are dealing with big city problems. Having that open-mindedness to look at big urban centers for ideas is key. How are Seattle, San Francisco, and New York dealing with these issues? My hope and one of the goals of this paper is to bring some of these urban concepts to the smaller towns and rural audience.”

Megan Lawson, lead researcher at Headwaters Economics, Colorado Sun

Picture this


Awwww-ters! One of nature’s most social and playful creatures, river otters have big personalities and even bigger appetites. Often seen in groups, called romps, they can be observed hunting and frolicking year-round at @GrandTetonNPS. Photo by Peter Mangolds

(featured image: Colorado’s San Luis Valley will receive $6.1 million for restoration projects. Simon Foot, Flickr)