The Biden-Harris administration and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) joined public- and private-sector partners last week to announce nearly $91 million in grants through the America the Beautiful Challenge (ATBC).
The 55 new grants announced will support landscape-scale conservation projects in 42 states, three US territories, and 14 Tribal Nations, leveraging $50.7 million in matching contributions to generate a total conservation impact of about $141.7 million.
ATBC grants support projects that conserve, restore and connect habitats for wildlife while improving community resilience and access to nature. The Challenge is a partnership between NFWF, the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture and Defense, and Native Americans in Philanthropy. Additional support this year was provided by the Bezos Earth Fund.
BRN was awarded $977,000 for a three-year restoration project taking place in the Fort Huachuca Sentinel Landscape including Patagonia, Sonoita, Elgin, and Canelo.
BRN will work with project partners including Fort Huachuca Sentinel Landscape Partnership, Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, University of Arizona, Tucson Audubon Society, Babocomari Ranch, and A to Z Environmental Consulting to:
- reduce wildfire risk for local communities
- control invasive bullfrogs in the Babocomari River to improve populations of four threatened species (Chiricahua Leopard Frog, Gila Topminnow, Desert Pupfish, and Northern Mexican Gartersnake)
- restore hydrologic and ecologic functions by installing erosion control structures (ECS) to stabilize and rebuild soils, increase water availability, and revegetate, also increasing carbon sequestration and enhancing wildlife habitat
- assess restoration effectiveness through bird and wildlife monitoring using point counts, sound recorders, and non-invasive camera traps at each site to study the effects of restoration activities on birds and wildlife
- engage local communities with the care of their landscapes by offering free workshops, paid youth internship opportunities, and organized volunteer activities.