BLM Utah Announces Five-Year Agreement With the Utah Department of Natural Resources as a Part of Utah’s Watershed Restoration Initiative

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BLM News Release

SALT LAKE CITY — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is a proud contributor and supporter of Utah’s Watershed Restoration Initiative (WRI), which uses locally-driven projects to improve watershed health, biological diversity and water quality. BLM Utah and the Utah Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have entered into a new five-year financial cooperative agreement supporting the WRI. The BLM may contribute up to $75 million over the lifetime of this five-year agreement.

In fiscal year 2019, the BLM contributed over $10 million dollars to the partnership, which resulted in treatment of nearly 93,000 acres of upland habitat, 2,369 acres of riverine and riparian habitat, and 162 miles of stream and river corridors. Projects range from improvements to rangeland, riparian and aquatic habitat, Greater Sage-grouse and large game habitat to projects focused on hazardous fuels reduction, post-fire emergency stabilization and rehabilitation, and noxious and invasive weed reduction.

“The WRI is an important component of our wildfire fuels reduction efforts and wildlife habitat improvements across Utah,” said BLM Utah State Director Ed Roberson. “We are proud to be a part of such a meaningful and innovative partnership and thank the Utah Department of Natural Resources for their leadership. This five-year agreement is just one of the ways we work together to manage our Nation’s natural resources.”

“The continued support of our partners is critical to the overall success of WRI. As Utah expands and our population increases, we have a growing obligation to manage, protect and restore watersheds throughout Utah,” said DNR Executive Director Brian Steed. “Our joint efforts are invaluable as they reduce catastrophic wildfire risks, increase water quality and yield, protect and rehabilitate vital habitats for many species and provide economic benefits for local economies.”

“Utah’s WRI is improving habitat for mule deer and all wildlife at a landscape scale not seen anywhere in the Western United States,” said President/CEO Mule Deer Foundation Miles Moretti. “The WRI is successful because of the partnership between Federal and State agencies, private landowners and wildlife conservation groups all working toward a common goal and that is high quality habitat in our forests and rangelands.”

The WRI is an innovative partnership. Over 500 agencies, organizations and individuals have contributed to WRI projects by providing funding and/or in-kind assistance. Partners include local governments, universities, State agencies, Federal agencies and other organizations. Since the WRI’s beginning in 2005, the BLM has contributed over 80 million dollars in funding to support WRI projects. Through the WRI, partner organizations have completed 2,120 projects on 1,824,842 acres throughout the State of Utah.

For additional information about the BLM’s participation in the WRI, contact Tom Adamson, BLM Utah State Forester at tadamson@blm.gov or 801-539-4044. For more information on the partnership and local projects, contact Tyler Thompson, Watershed Program Director with Utah Department of Natural Resources at tylerthompson@utah.gov or 801-510-7062 or visit https://watershed.utah.gov/. Photos can be found on the BLM’s Flickr site: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmKdGSrX.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.

Follow the BLM on Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr @BLMUtah

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