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2 critical Arizona enviroments to be restored under new BLM program

The Bureau of Land Management announced the program on Wednesday as part of the Biden Administration's "Investing in America" agenda.

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Wildfires, floods and a massive drought have ravaged ecosystems across the western United States for decades. A new federal program is working to repair some of that damage.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials announced the public land program during a press call on Wednesday, where they said the Biden Administration has dedicated $161 million in funding toward the restoration effort.

"Restoration activities under this effort will range from reducing the threat of catastrophic wildfire in American sagebrush steppe, to recreating wetland meadows, to repairing watersheds on former industrial timberlands," BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning said.

The program focuses on 21 landscapes across 11 states West, including putting $9.6 million towards Arizona's Sky Islands in the southeast area of the state and allocating $5.6 million toward the Yanawant landscape northwest of the Grand Canyon.

Officials said they chose these two Arizona landscapes specifically due to the unique environments they support and the potential devastation climate-change-driven disasters pose to them.

"[The Yanawant] BLM lands are at significant risk for catastrophic fire, creating a risk to the management of the park," said Tomer Hasson, BLM Senior Policy Advisor. "Investment in fuel reduction, in conjunction with park services, will diminish and identify threats to tourism, local economies and one of the wonders of the world."

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