SANTA FE, N.M. – As part of the President’s Investing in America agenda, the Bureau of Land Management will invest $7.6 million from the Inflation Reduction Act to increase fire resiliency and protect native vegetation on public lands in New Mexico. This funding will be focused in one landscape area called the Lower Pecos 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.
“Investments in the Lower Pecos Restoration Landscape Area will help the BLM build on nearly 20 years of experience restoring the Pecos River Watershed,” said Melanie Barnes, BLM New Mexico State Director. “We are pleased that the Inflation Reduction Act assists local communities with successful projects that improve our landscapes in the Land of Enchantment.”
Landscape-scale treatments protect fragile soils, increase native grasses, reverse fragmentation, improve water filtration and groundwater recharge, reduce sediment loads in the Pecos and its tributaries, and restore habitat for a multitude of species – pronghorn, lesser prairie-chicken, bluntnose shiner, gambusia, aplomado falcon, Pecos sunflower, Noel's amphipod, wild buckwheat, Texas hornshell mussel, Kuenzler's hedgehog cactus and dunes sagebrush lizard. Restoring the landscape will enhance recreation on public lands and help fulfill our mission of multiple use and sustained yield.
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 $1.35 million of funding these areas have received from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Learn more about the BLM’s restoration landscapes at BLM’s StoryMap.