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The National Park Service recently announced funding for several conservation and restoration projects in parks across Utah.

A total of $60,000 from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was awarded to Canyonlands National Park and Hovenweep National Monument.

Canyonlands’ portion specifically goes toward enhancing and restoring riparian ecosystems along the Green and Colorado Rivers. Park staff will focus on removing invasive tamarisk vegetation and replanting native cottonwoods, box elders, and willows.

They will partner with the Utah Conservation Corps for tamarisk removal efforts at Cabin Bottom and Anderson Bottom. The native trees they have already planted along the rivers near picnic and camp areas are also part of the project.

Hovenweep National Monument will utilize their share of the funding to collaborate with associated Tribes on restoring springs that hold cultural significance. The park staff aims to improve the health of these important water sources.

Nearly $1.6 million was granted for assessments of how climate change and drought may impact water supplies in several parks, including Arches, Canyonlands, and Natural Bridges. The goal is to evaluate vulnerabilities and develop adaptation strategies to increase sustainability of water resources that both parks and visitors rely on.

The infrastructure law funding will enable the initiation and continuation of vital conservation projects that address ecosystem resilience, restoration needs, and climate change preparedness. According to the National Park Service’s statement, the projects will put people to work on critical needs while also benefiting the parks’ surrounding communities.

Cover photo courtesy of: Tim Vo

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