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San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge to receive $7 million for fish restoration

By Ron Dungan
Published: Wednesday, March 22, 2023 - 4:57pm

The Department of Interior will receive more than $120 million from the Inflation Reduction Act for work on National Wildlife Refuges.

Some of that money will go to a refuge in Arizona.

Southeast Arizona is home to native fish that once lived in cienegas, springs and small streams.

Development, erosion, drought and groundwater pumping have destroyed much of that habitat, and so the San Bernardino Wildlife Refuge was created.

Refuge Manager Tasha Harden says it maintains populations of the Yaqui chub, the Yaqui topminnow and the beautiful shiner in ponds and other artificial structures.

"So they’re really dependent on the refuges and manmade infrastructure at this time," Harden said.

The refuge will receive $7 million over the next three years, which she says will be used for research as well as habitat restoration and development.