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BLM units in Sky Island country to use new funding for ongoing conservation projects

Last week, the Bureau of Land Management announced new funding for conservation work, including restoration projects in the southeast part of the state.

Southeast Arizona includes a diversity of landscapes, from desert foothills to high elevation forests, the sky islands that give the region its name.

That diversity of ecosystems makes it one of the richest bioregions in the world.

The BLM has a number of ongoing projects in the area, which includes the Gila Box, San Pedro River and four wilderness areas.

June Lowery, a spokeswoman for the BLM, said that some funding will go to thinning mesquite trees.

"When they get so thick on that landscape then they become problematic. Also it helps with the wildlife migration corridors. Because if you have too much mesquite there it makes it hard for that wildlife to get through that landscape," Lowery said.

The funding will also help with an ongoing project to remove invasive sunfish from the area.

Ron Dungan was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2024.