Hart Mountain Refuge among locations to receive sagebrush funds

Oregon’s U.S.
Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service will be awarding Oregon a total of $695,097 for sagebrush conservation
efforts across the state. The funding will help support collaborative efforts
by ranchers, growers, and agencies to improve habitat.

“Restoring and
conserving Oregon’s sagebrush ecosystems can help to address the damage and
dangers invasive species bring to important rangelands and habitat to promote a
healthy environment and a strong economy,” said Senator Merkley, who used
his position as Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee to secure
the funding in the infrastructure law. “This crucial funding will support
collaborative conservation efforts and help ensure our rural economies are
strong long into the future.”

conservation in Oregon plays a crucial role in fighting destruction by invasive
species, and success in that battle pays solid dividends for the rural economy
and the environment,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified our state has
secured these federal resources through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law I
worked to pass, and will continue working to provide similar investments that
build a stronger rural Oregon.”

The U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service awarded $10 million to 42 grants nationwide in FY23 to support
projects that will focus on protecting and improving sagebrush ecosystem health
by addressing invasive species, wildfire, and improving economic sustainability
and ecological function. The funding is provided through the Bipartisan
Infrastructure Law to expand work with partners to conserve the sagebrush
ecosystem. The awards to Oregon will support one new project, and four ongoing

Project amounts and
information are as follows:

Oregon All Counties
Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs) Initiative to Protect
and Enhance Sagebrush Ecosystems on Private Lands: $250,000 to support private
landowners who engage in voluntary sagebrush conservation actions throughout
Southeastern Oregon.

Removal of Encroaching Juniper from the Lower Guano Creek Area on Hart Mountain
National Wildlife Refuge: $148,858 to support the final phase of juniper
control on priority habitats on Hart Mountain NWR.

Southeastern Oregon
Collaboration to Address Primary Threats to Sagebrush Landscapes: $119,200 to
support habitat restoration (juniper and invasive annual grass control) via the
Baker and Vale Local Implementation Teams (LITs) across multiple land

Oregon Department of
State Lands Barbwire Juniper Removal Project: $120,039 to support habitat
restoration (juniper removal) on FWS CCAA-enrolled state lands.

Survey of Bombus
(Hymenoptera: Apidae) and DNA barcoding of sagebrush biome wild bees in
Southeast Oregon: $57,000 to support generating species and community data for
bumble bees throughout the high desert in Southeast Oregon and will enhance
available reference material for the Oregon Bee Project partners and generate
species occurrence data for these specialized pollinators.