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Friday, June 2, 2023

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WI working family advocates shine a spotlight on Reps' voting records; a new report says that Phoenix area can't meet groundwater demands; Nevada sporting community sends top 10 priorities to Gov. Lombardo's desk.

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The Senate aims to get the debt limit spending bill to President Biden's desk quickly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis makes a campaign stop in Iowa, and a new survey finds most straight adults support LGBTQ+ rights.

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Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

MN Included in Wetland Restoration Funding

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Friday, March 17, 2023   

Funding priorities under the federal Inflation Reduction Act continue to roll out, including a new effort for Minnesota and some surrounding states to restore and rebuild wetland areas.

The Interior Department has announced $120 million in investments for key segments of America's wildlife management systems. For the Midwest, it means protecting Prairie Potholes, which are shallow wetlands where wildlife has been threatened.

Aaron Field, director of private lands conservation for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, said land development has been a common issue in Minnesota and elsewhere. But he pointed out there are other threats to wetlands and surrounding grasslands, such as invasive species.

"Our wetlands are increasingly losing diversity, and our native plants are being replaced by nonnative plants," Field explained.

He noted the loss of diversity limits the landscape's ability to sequester carbon and filter water. For the region, $23 million has been earmarked for landscape conservation and restoration in parts of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Montana. The investment comes at the same time the Endangered Species Act turns 50.

Christy Plumer, chief conservation officer for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, said much of the investment will quickly go to landowners who want to protect sensitive, low-lying wetlands on their property, but still use the upland sections for growing crops, ranching and other needs.

"So you know, I think a program like this provides that blend of opportunities for willing landowners to do great conservation work, while also thinking long term about the economic vitality of their farms and their ranches," Plumer emphasized.

In addition to restoring habitat and increasing land resilience, Plumer pointed out the Prairie Potholes project will also mean environmental justice for historically disadvantaged communities. Nationwide, the money aims to address climate adaptation for species and provide more data collection in making landscapes more resilient.

Disclosure: The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Environment, and Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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