Deputy Secretary of the Interior Tommy Beaudreau was in Wyoming and Montana this week to highlight investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support wildfire resilience, ecosystem restoration, and outdoor access across the state, per a press release.
He also received a briefing on Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) projects underway at the Yellowstone National Park from National Park Service staff and local stakeholders
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Beaudreau visited the park to put forward DOI’s efforts to conserve and restore wildlife corridors and habitat connectivity in a way that supports conservation outcomes, honors private landowner rights, and encourages collaboration among federal agencies, state and local governments, Tribes and other stakeholders.
A roundtable with local leaders in Bozeman, Montana was then held on Thursday to discuss outdoor recreation and conservation efforts in the state. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests almost $10 million in outdoor recreation opportunities in the state through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program.
Beaudreau, on Friday, joined the Montana Conservation Corps and local leaders, including Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins to spotlight a new $68 million investment through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for local ecosystem restoration partnerships across the country. In Montana, the Law will support projects to detect invasive species, eradicate invasive plants, restore abandoned mine lands, including at the Zortman and Landusky mine sites, and increase recreational access on public lands.
The group also viewed the North Hill Fire Fence Reconstruction project, where 4.5 miles of fencing burned in the North Hill fire were rebuilt by a partnership between the Bureau of Land Management and the Montana Conservation Corps in 2019. Reconstruction of the fence helped maintain the integrity of the grazing systems and keep adjacent private landowners and livestock from entering and grazing in the burned area during the recovery period.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help fund similar projects to support post-fire recovery work, restore habitat connectivity for aquatic species, advance habitat restoration, conserve at-risk and listed species and expand access to the outdoors.