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New federal funding is coming for environmental projects. Here are 12 projects happening in Utah

Pedestrians and bikers cross a bridge on the Virgin River Trail in St. George on April 9, 2021. In total, 12 environmental remediation projects in Utah will receive around $3.4 million in fiscal year 2022.

Pedestrians and bikers cross a bridge on the Virgin River Trail in St. George on April 9, 2021. In total, 12 environmental remediation projects in Utah will receive around $3.4 million in fiscal year 2022. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Funds from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill continue to trickle to the West.

The latest announcement from the U.S. Department of the Interior details nearly $69 million for 125 environmental remediation projects across 20 states, tribes and territories.

Reducing wildfire risk, mitigating hazards from mined land, restoring recreation sites and national parks, and combating invasive species are the four key objectives in the provision, which totals $1.4 billion to be released in the next five years.

The funding, released on Thursday, will go toward projects managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey.

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland called the funding "an important step towards building a better America for people and wildlife, for generations to come."

"President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation investment that will allow us to restore healthy ecosystems across the country," she said in a news release.

How will these funds impact Utah?

In total, 12 remediation projects in Utah will receive around $3.4 million in fiscal year 2022.

The Beehive State will receive $315,000 for projects specific to the state, while an additional $3.1 million will be directed at seven remediation efforts across multiple states, including Utah.

  • $100,00 — Watershed restoration and "recreation connectivity design" for private landowners and Zion National Park. Stretches of the Virgin River winding through Zion have been routinely subjected to harmful algal blooms.
  • $45,000 — Improving recreation opportunities along the San Juan River and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
  • $40,000 — Rich County riparian grazing exclosure. The funds will go toward a BLM fencing project, keeping cattle out of riparian, spring, and in-stream areas to improve sage grouse and Bonneville cutthroat trout habitats.
  • $50,000 — Invasive and noxious plant removal in the riparian and upland habitats of Iron and Beaver Counties.
  • $80,000 — Pilot Pond reconstruction to support fish and wildlife habitat and livestock.
  • $150,000 spread out across 17 states, including Utah — Funding for environmental DNA collection and analysis, a rapid, non-invasive method for species detection to combat invasive species.
  • $50,000 spread out across 17 states, including Utah — Increasing biocontrol efforts to support invasive species removal.
  • $1.3 million spread out across Utah, Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming — Increasing recreational access on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
  • $651,250 spread out across Utah, Alaska, California, Idaho and New Mexico — Improving visitor capacity and "site resiliency" at recreation sites managed by the BLM.
  • $200,000 spread out across Utah, Colorado, Idaho and Wyoming — Native seed production for restoration in National Parks in the Upper Colorado River Basin.
  • $220,000 spread out across Utah, Arizona and Wyoming — Native seed production for restoration in National Parks across the intermountain West.
  • $220,000 spread out across Utah, Arizona and Wyoming — "Optimizing resilience and adaptation" for native seeding projects.

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Kyle Dunphey
Kyle Dunphey is a reporter on the Utah InDepth team, covering a mix of topics including politics, the environment and breaking news. A Vermont native, he studied communications at the University of Utah and graduated in 2020. Whether on his skis or his bike, you can find Kyle year-round exploring Utah’s mountains.

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