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. This 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 this
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 can be found below: 

  • 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. 
  • Completing Removal of Encroaching
    Juniper from the Lower Guano Creek Area on Hart Mountain NWR: $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.