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$15 million available for Klamath Basin restoration projects

  •  March 4, 2023

Up to $15 million is being made available for ecosystem restoration activities that address high-priority Klamath Basin challenges in Southern Oregon and Northern California by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

In making the announcement Tuesday, Feb. 28, Fish and Wildlife officials said the agency is seeking pre-proposals for projects supported by up to $15 million from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for ecosystem restoration activities, local and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, small businesses, private landowners, and other conservation partners are highly encouraged to take advantage of this funding opportunity.

According to the announcement, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes a $1.4 billion down payment in the conservation and stewardship of America’s public lands that will lead to better outdoor spaces and habitats for people and wildlife for generations to come, with the Klamath Basin set to receive $162 million throughout five years to “restore the regional ecosystem and repair local economies.”

Fish and Wildlife Regional Director Paul Souza, in commenting on the announcement, said, “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes unprecedented investments in ecosystem recovery and drought resilience. The Klamath Basin’s fragile ecosystem and our regional economies depend on partnerships among a wide variety of stakeholders. These projects will go a long way toward building up those partnerships and developing sustainable solutions that are collaborative and forward-thinking.”

In 2022, F&WS provided an initial $16 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to fund 32 Klamath Basin ecosystem restoration projects and $10 million to expand the Klamath Falls National Fish Hatchery, which will increase rearing capacity and help prevent the extinction of two federally listed species endemic, shortnose and Lost River sucker fish, to the Klamath Basin.

According to the release, the second round of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding for the Klamath Basin will “continue to support programs and projects to restore habitat, control invasive species, conserve at-risk and listed species, improve habitat connectivity for aquatic species, address water quality and quantity issues, and support projects that will help improve conditions for native species. This funding opportunity is intended for projects and activities that support or will help improve rivers, lakes, wetlands, and their associated riparian habitats, which historically supported millions of fish and waterbirds.”

The announcement comes as the Endangered Species Act (ESA) turns 50 years old this year. According to the press release, “Throughout the year, the Department of the Interior will celebrate the ESA’s importance in preventing imperiled species’ extinction, promoting the recovery of wildlife, and conserving the habitats upon which they depend.”

To simplify the application process, F&WS invites applicants to submit pre-proposals that describe how their projects advance the restoration of the Klamath Basin. All pre-proposals should align with the conservation goals and objectives outlined in the agency’s strategic plans for the Klamath Basin, including the newly finalized Klamath Basin Integrated Fisheries Restoration and Monitoring Plan, which guide collaborative conservation in the area. “This initial step will allow the Service and other federal and state agency partners to work closely together and ensure that the best projects move forward for further consideration. Applicants whose pre-proposals are highly ranked will be asked to submit a full project proposal.”

Collaborative, solution-oriented project pre-proposals that demonstrate how projects will improve the ecosystem and achieve habitat restoration for waterfowl or native fish and other aquatic species may be submitted no later than April 14 to KlamathBIL@fws.gov.

For more information about the submission process, go to Grants.gov or the Klamath Basin Bipartisan Infrastructure Law website. Examples of funded Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments may be found in the Service’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law 2022 Annual Report.



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