Bison projects, Bob Marshall Wilderness get millions for conservation

Nora Mabie

The Biden-Harris administration and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation last week announced nearly $91 million in grants made through the America the Beautiful Challenge. Fifty-five inaugural grants will support conservation and restoration projects in 42 states, three U.S. territories and 14 tribal nations — including the Fort Belknap Indian Community and Blackfeet Nation in Montana.

Applicants this year submitted 527 proposals, requesting a total of $1.1 billion. The grants issued addressed about 10% of the overall demand, according to a news release. About one-third of the grants will support projects implemented by tribes.

The America the Beautiful Challenge encouraged applicants to develop projects that would address conservation and restoration needs and showcase benefits to fish and wildlife, carbon emissions and benefit underserved communities, among other things.

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The Fort Belknap Indian Community was awarded $4,985,200 for its intertribal approach to restoring bison and landscape connectivity, according to a news release. In collaboration with the Blackfeet, Chippewa Cree, Fort Belknap and Fort Peck tribes, this project will enhance ecosystem function on 57,000 acres by supporting daily operations related to bison programs, removing or replacing more than 100

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