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Wetlands, Wildlife of the Midwest Will Benefit from Grants (news release)
10 Region, July 2, 2007
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More than 4.3 million acres of wetlands in the United States and Canada will be protected, enhanced and managed with the help of more than $21.2 million in new federal funding, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Interior David Verhey announced earlier this month.

The funding, which is authorized under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, or NAWCA, was made available on June 13 by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. It will support projects to conserve wetlands and associated habitats for the benefit of migratory waterfowl and other birds throughout the continent.

In the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Midwest Region, more than $951,000 was authorized under NAWCA’s Small Grants Program to fund projects that will protect more than 3,300 acres of wetlands for mallards, wood ducks, scaup, warblers and other migratory wildlife in eight Midwestern states. Partners are contributing nearly $2.5 million in matching funds for these projects.

"One of the greatest strengths of this program is its range-wide approach to conservation," said Verhey, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. "Waterfowl making their long migration throughout North America don’t care whether a wetland is in Canada, the United States or Mexico. This program invests in important wetland habitat located in all these countries and benefits the birds throughout their journey."

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act encourages public-private partnerships to protect, enhance, restore, and manage wetlands and other habitats for migratory birds and other wildlife resources.

"Across the Midwest, we have a proud history of working cooperatively to protect our valued natural resources" said Robyn Thorson, regional director for the Fish and Wildlife Services Midwest Region. "Wetlands provide excellent habitat for wildlife, but they are also valuable to humans, serving as natural water filters and providing millions of Americans—including our youngest generations--with opportunities to connect with nature."

Nearly $18 million was approved under NAWCA’s Standard Grants Program to support eight conservation projects in 12 Canadian provinces. Combined with an additional $18 million in partner matching funds, these projects will secure more than 84,000 acres of wetlands and associated uplands, enhance nearly 59,000 acres, and manage an additional 4.2 million acres of wetlands.

In addition, more than $3.2 million will support 51 projects in 29 U.S. states under the law’s Small Grants Program. Partners in these projects are contributing an additional $10.6 million in matching funds to help conserve more than 20,000 acres of habitat. The grants are financed by annual Congressional appropriations; fines, penalties and forfeitures under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; interest accrued to the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act and excise taxes paid on small engine fuels through the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Fund.

North American Wetlands Conservation Act Small Grants Projects in the Midwest Region are:

The National Wild Turkey Federation will administer a $67,521 grant to improve wetland habitat within the Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area in Greene County, Ind. Partners will contribute $103,677.

Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy will administer a $75,000 grant to acquire 51 acres of important wetland and upland habitat in Charlevoix County, Mich. Partners will match the grant with $75,000.

Little Traverse Conservancy will administer a $75,000 grant to acquire 110 acres of important wetland and upland habitat in Charlevoix County, Mich. The partner match is $622,800.

The Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation will administer a $75,000 grant to improve 110 acres of important wetland habitat in Henry County, Mo. Partners will contribute $245,000.

The Kenosha/Racine Land Trust will receive a $75,000 grant to acquire 24 acres of important wetland and grassland habitat in Kenosha County, Wis. The partner match is $169,500.

The National Wild Turkey Federation will administer a $23,750 grant to enhance 70 acres of wetland and grassland habitat in the Jackson County, Ill. The partner match is $24,000.

Ducks Unlimited, Inc. will administer a $60,000 grant to restore water level management capabilities on a 400-acre wetland in Wyandot County, Ohio. The partner match is $60,000.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will administer a $75,000 grant that will enable water level management capabilities to be restored on 625 acres of wetland in Anoka and Chisago counties in Minnesota. Partners will contribute $299,425.

The West Wisconsin Land Trust will administer a $50,000 grant that will help acquire 720 acres of wetland in Chippewa County, Wis. Partners are contributing $200,000.

Ducks Unlimited, Inc. will administer a $75,000 grant to restore the hydrology on 135 acres of coastal wetland in Arenac County, Mich. The partner match is $77,000.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will receive a $75,000 grant to assist with restoring and enhancing 948 acres of grassland habitat. This work will be limited to the public property and the 35 Iowa counties that are part of the Prairie Pothole Joint Venture. The partner match is $165,369.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will receive a $75,000 grant to acquire 95 acres of wetland and grassland habitat in Hamilton and Guthrie counties, Iowa. Partners are contributing $90,000.

Ducks Unlimited, Inc., will administer a $75,000 grant to acquire conservation easements on 250 acres of wetland and grassland habitat adjacent to Geneva Lake in Freeborn County, Minn. Partners will contribute $301,241.

Pheasants Forever, Inc. will administer a $75,000 grant to protect and restore 90 acres of wetland and grassland habitat in Nobles County, Minn. The partner match is $82,000.

The Migratory Bird Commission also approved the use of $250,000 under the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund for acquisition of 156 acres of resting and feeding habitat to benefit several waterfowl species at the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge in Vermont. The fund receives revenue from Duck Stamp sales, import duties on firearms and ammunition, and right-of-way payments to the refuge system. In addition, three national wildlife refuges in Mississippi, Montana and Utah received funding to extend their leases on existing refuge lands containing wetland habitat.

The commission meets three times a year and includes Senators Thad Cochran and Blanche Lincoln, Representative John Dingell, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson, with Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne serving as chairman. Acting Assistant Secretary Verhey represented Secretary Kempthorne at the June 13 meeting.

Additional information about the North American Wetlands Conservation Act can be found on the Fish and Wildlife Service Website at http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NAWCA/index.shtm

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 97-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 547 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

-FWS-

No contact information available. Please contact Larry Dean, 612-713-5313, larry_dean@fws.gov


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