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Funding to States through the Federal Assistance Division (Performance Element 3: Partnerships and Cooperative Initiatives)
Southwest Region, September 30, 2006
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State Programs - Federal Assistance Division.  Currently there are nine people working in the Division of Federal Assistance.  The trained and experienced staff includes fish and wildlife biologists, grant managers, fiscal specialists and administrative support.  Historically, the focus was on the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration programs, which use excise taxes paid by hunters and anglers to fund State fish and wildlife management activities.  However, in the past several years a significant number of new State grant programs have been authorized by Congress for nongame and endangered species conservation, boating access improvements, habitat on private lands, and wetland protection.  

Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration.  Established in 1937, the Wildlife Restoration program (Pittman-Robertson) distributes approximately $200 million annually to State agencies for wildlife management (birds and mammals) and hunter education.  The funds are derived from excise taxes on hunting and shooting sports equipment and are apportioned to State agencies based on size of the State and licensed hunters.  In Fiscal Year 2006, the following funds were distributed through this grant program:

·                    Arizona - $5,628,375

·                    New Mexico - $4,701,315

·                    Oklahoma - $4,785,013

·                    Texas - $10,796,752

Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration.  Established in 1951, the Sport Fish Restoration Program (Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux) distributes over $300 million annually to State agencies for sport fish management, boating access, and aquatic education. The funds are derived from excise taxes on fishing equipment and motor boat fuels and are apportioned to State agencies based on size of the State and licensed anglers.  In Fiscal Year 2006, the following funds were distributed through this grant  program:

·                    Arizona - $5,693,439

·                    New Mexico - $5,079,284

·                    Oklahoma - $5,949,175

·                    Texas - $14,542,380

Coastal Wetlands.  The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation is a nationally competitive program which distributes approximately $14.5 million annually.  Texas is the only State in Region 2 eligible to participate.  The majority of the grants awarded to Texas have been for land acquisition.  In Fiscal Year 2006, Texas received $653,300.

Clean Vessel Act.  This is a nationally competitive grant program which distributes approximately $10 million for the installation of pump-out stations at marinas and other public recreation sites.  In Fiscal Year 2006, the following Region 2 States received funding:

·                    Arizona - $105,683

·                    Oklahoma - $17,784

·                    Texas - $771,351

Boating Infrastructure Grants.  This grant program was first authorized in 1999 and provides for $8 million annually to improve facilities for recreational boats over 26 feet.  The grant program has two tiers of funding, Tier 1 provides up to $100,000 annually to each State and Tier 2 is nationally competitive.  In Fiscal Year 2006, the following Region 2 States received funding:

  

·                    Arizona $100,000 – Tier 1

·                    Oklahoma - $100,000 Tier 1

·                    Texas - $100,000 Tier 1

 $176,452 Tier 2

Landowner Incentive Program.  This annually appropriated grant program enables State fish and wildlife agencies to work with private landowners to improve habitat for species of special concern.  The grant program has two tiers of funding, Tier 1 provides up to $180,000 annually to each State and Tier 2 is nationally competitive.  In Fiscal Year 2006, the following Region 2 States received funding:

·                    Arizona - $180,000 – Tier 1

                                        $765,760 – Tier 2

·                    New Mexico - $180,000 Tier 1

·                    Oklahoma - $180,000 Tier 1

·                    Texas - $180,000 Tier 1

State Wildlife Grants.  Since 2002, Congress has annually appropriated funds for this grant program for State fish and wildlife agencies for planning and conservation efforts directed primarily at nongame resources.  These funds are apportioned to the States based on their land area and total population.  In Fiscal Year 2006, the following funds were distributed through this program:

·                    Arizona - $1,428,966

·                    New Mexico - $1,025,603

·                    Oklahoma – $917,765

·                    Texas - $3,016,768

Administrative Services for Other Service Grant Programs.  The Federal Assistance Division also provides grant administration services to other programs.  Responsibilities include reviewing proposals for substantiality, completing environmental compliance documentation; coordinating reduced awards; obligating and monitoring funds; entering the project objective, benefits, and results into the FAIMS database; reviewing/coordinating Service comments on performance reports; fiscally closing out the project; and scanning the project files into a permanent grant file database for future reference.  The following programs use this service:

External Affairs - Tribal Grants.  In 2003, two new programs awarded grants, the Tribal Landowner Incentive Program (TLIP) and Tribal Wildlife Grant Program (TWG). Congress awarded nearly $9 million to help 48 federally recognized Indian tribes conserve and recover endangered, threatened and at-risk species and other wildlife on tribal lands in 22 States.

These programs are similar to cost-share programs recently developed by the Department of Interior to assist States, local communities, private landowners and other partners undertake wildlife conservation projects. They are competitive and projects are awarded through a national ranking process.  TLIP grants address protection, restoration and management of habitat to benefit at-risk species, including federally listed endangered or threatened species and proposed or candidate species. The maximum award under this program is $150,000 with a required minimum 25-percent match from non-Federal funds.  TWG grants benefit fish, wildlife and their habitat including non-game species. Although matching funds are not required for these grants, they are considered to be an indicator of a tribe’s commitment. The maximum grant award under this program is $250,000.  In Fiscal Year 2006, the following Region 2 tribes were awarded funding:

Tribal Landowner Incentive Program

·                    Arizona

§         Navajo Nation                                            $209,277

·                    New Mexico

§         Pueblo of Santo Domingo                          $148,348

Tribal Wildlife Grant Program

·                    New Mexico

§         Pueblo of San Juan                                      $249,990

§         Pueblo of Laguna                                        $246,100

§         Pueblo of Santa Clara                                 $249,411

§         Pueblo of Taos                                           $249,829

·                    Oklahoma

§         Peoria Tribe of Indian of Oklahoma            $249,997

Ecological Services - Endangered Species Act Section 6 Grants.  Grants include Endangered Species Research grants, Habitat Conservation Planning grants, Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition, and Recovery Land Acquisition.  In Fiscal Year 2006, the following funds were distributed through this program:

Section 6 Grants

·                    Arizona

§         Arizona Game and Fish Department                        $343,207

§         Department of Agriculture                                       $110,251

·                    New Mexico

§         NM Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources         $  68,000

§         NM Department of Game & Fish                            $235,000

·                    Oklahoma

§         Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation       $  81,500

§         University of Oklahoma                                           $  11,973

·                    Texas

§         Texas Parks and Wildlife Department                      $504,047

Section 6 - Habitat Conservation Planning

·                    Arizona

§         City of Tucson HCP                                                $252,829

§         Comal County                                                         $612,852

Section 6 - Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition – Single Species

·                    Texas

§         Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, grantee

            The Nature Conservancy, subgrantee                 $3,500,000

Section 6 - Recovery Land Acquisition

·                    Arizona

§         Arizona Game & Fish Department                          $   750,000

·                    Texas

§         Texas Parks & Wildlife Department                         $1,000,000

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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