The City of Sierra Vista, Fort Huachuca, U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Cochise County received just over $1 million in November from the federal government for management of water resources for the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA).

The money is from an America the Beautiful Challenge grant.

According to the The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) website: “The America the Beautiful Challenge is a public-private grant program for locally led ecosystem restoration projects that invest in watershed restoration, resilience, equitable access, workforce development, corridors and connectivity, and collaborative conservation, consistent with the America the Beautiful Initiative.”

Sierra Vista City Manager, Chuck Potucek says the money will be used to pay for the administration and facilitation of current projects, supporting the effluent project in Bisbee and starting an endowment.

Which will then support the ongoing monitoring and modeling needs so that we can gauge how effective our projects are going forward and try to look into the future in terms of where were going, he said.

San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area covers 43 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border throughout Cochise County. According to the BLM website: “The primary purpose for the designation is to protect and enhance the desert riparian ecosystem, a rare remnant of what was once an extensive network of similar riparian systems throughout the Southwest.”

Potucek says this grant is unique because it’s to be use for maintaining projects rather than starting new ones.