/ Modified aug 11, 2023 4:56 p.m.

Department of the Interior announces $44 million towards conservation projects

The funding is part of the Investing in America agenda

Grand Canyon Rainbow AP This August 2022 photo provided by the National Park Service shows a double rainbow from the ranger station porch at Indian Garden, which is now called Havasupai Gardens, in Grand Canyon National Park. The Indian Garden name assigned to a popular Grand Canyon campground has been changed out of respect for a Native American tribe that was displaced by the national park. The Havasupai Tribe and Grand Canyon National Park announced Monday, Nov. 21, that Indian Garden will be renamed Havasupai Gardens.
National Park Service via AP

The Department of the Interior (DOI) announced a $44 million investment to help restore America’s national parks through the Investing in America agenda.

The announcement came the same day President Biden designated the Baaj Nwaajo I'tah Kukveni- Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument, protecting nearly 1 million acres of culturally significant land.

In Arizona, key projects include funding for the removal of invasive species such as buffelgrass and restoration of Sonoran Desert habitats in Saguaro National Park, abandoned mineral lands management in Organ Pipe National Monument, funds to enhance bison conservation efforts in Grand Canyon National Park, and other projects throughout the state.

Cynthia Hernandez with the National Park Service said ongoing invasive species management has also been funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL.)

“Specific to Arizona, funding from the Inflation Reduction this fiscal year will have an impact of $581,000 to about $700,000,” Hernandez said.” In additional projects, with a portion of money going to parks and Arizona, that funding is estimated at $4.2 million for all states including Arizona.”

The investment will support 43 projects across 39 states and territories this fiscal year.

Hernandez said national parks and programs proposed high-priority initiatives and efforts for consideration and sent to the Office of Management and Budget for approval.

Target completion dates vary between projects, many of which require multi-year efforts.

Hernandez said target completion dates for projects funded by the IRA are estimated between 2024 and 2031.

Investing in America will follow the department’s Restoration and Resilience Framework to ensure measurable landscape-scale benefits that advance acclimate resilience and facilitate coordination across agency programs.

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