The United States owns more than 9.8 million square miles of land and water, some public and some private. Now, through a Department of Home Affairs (DOI) program, local communities and tribal nations across the United States will work to conserve, protect, and restore sections of both types of land across the country. .
With so much space under threat from climate change and nature loss, the Biden administration aims to preserve at least 30% of the country’s land and water by 2030.
L’initiative America the Beautiful Challenge* brings together many US government agencies, led by the DOI, who are committed to land conservation in an inclusive and collaborative spirit.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation* (NFWF), in collaboration with the DOI, will grant new grants of up to $91 million* to 55 non-governmental organizations, tribal nations, U.S. territories, and state governments across the United States, with recipients expected to contribute $50.7 million in matching funds. In total, therefore, the amount at stake will amount to 141.7 million dollars. Applicants were encouraged to apply if their grant application indicated their willingness to apply indigenous traditional ecological knowledge. By this is meant a body of observations, oral and written knowledge, innovations, practices and beliefs developed by tribes and indigenous peoples through their interactions with the environment and on the basis of their experience, specifies the White House.
“Nature is essential to the health, well-being and prosperity of every family and every community in America,” insists the Home Affairs Secretary Deb Haaland. “This work will create jobs, strengthen our economy, address the issue of equitable access to outdoor activities and help fight the climate crisis. »
The Fort Belknap Indian Community received nearly $5 million in funding to increase bison populations in conjunction with the Blackfeet, Chippewa-Cree of Rocky Boy and Fort Peck tribal communities throughout Montana. The project will restore 23,000 hectares of bison habitat. Tribal nations will continue their collaboration by sharing bison and land management information.
The NFWF awarded one of the largest grants (just over $6 million) to the Confederated Tribes of the Yakama Nation in Washington State. The Yakama Nation will use the funds for seven habitat restoration projects covering 623 hectares. In particular, it plans to reconnect the passages between land and water on more than 2,400 hectares, and to strengthen the climate resilience of people, wildlife and habitats throughout the territory.
In North Carolina, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) will use its $309,000 grant to conserve or protect rare and culturally significant species in its ancestral territory, in collaboration with several government agencies. This work includes improving data management and modeling tools to maximize on-the-ground conservation efforts.
The Stockbridge-Munsee community is counting on the $723,200 grant it received to bring young people from the Lenape tribe back to their ancestral lands (Lënapehòkink), along the Delaware River watershed and in parts of the New York State. It has a dual purpose: to cultivate their tribal identity and to offer them career prospects. The collaboration between three Lenape tribes will promote this goal and cultural resilience through an immersion program.