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Funding to States through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program (formerly Federal Assistance Division)
Southwest Region, September 30, 2007
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WSFR Program (formerly Federal Assistance Division).  Currently there are eight people working in the WSFR Program.  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 non-game 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 over $266 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 number of licensed hunters.  In Fiscal Year 2007, the following funds were distributed through this grant program:

·        Arizona - $6,558,655

·        New Mexico - $5,360,014

·        Oklahoma - $5,630,857

·        Texas - $12,291,246

Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration.  Established in 1951, the Sport Fish Restoration Program (Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux) distributes over $349 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 number of licensed anglers.  In Fiscal Year 2007, the following funds were distributed through this grant program:

·        Arizona - $7,088,411

·        New Mexico - $6,072,407

·        Oklahoma - $6,969,443

·        Texas - $17,454,453

Coastal Wetlands.  The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation is a nationally competitive program which distributes approximately $18.8 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 2007, Texas received $398,637.

Clean Vessel Act.  This is a nationally competitive grant program which distributes approximately $13.2 million for the installation of pump-out stations at marinas and other public recreation sites.  In Fiscal Year 2007, the following Region 2 States received funding:

·        Texas - $782,437

Boating Infrastructure Grants.  This grant program was first authorized in 1999 and provides for $13.1 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 2007, the following Region 2 States received funding:

            ·        Arizona $100,000 – Tier 1

·        Oklahoma - $100,000 Tier 1

·        Texas - $100,000 Tier 1

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 2007, the following Region 2 States received funding:

·        Arizona - $180,000 – Tier 1

                                  $849,510 – Tier 2

·        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 non-game resources.  These funds are apportioned to the States based on their land area and total population.  In Fiscal Year 2007, the following funds were distributed through this program:

·        Arizona - $1,438,901

·        New Mexico - $1,032,733

·        Oklahoma – $924,146

·        Texas - $3,037,742

Administrative Services for Other Service Grant Programs.  The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program 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 2007, the following Region 2 tribes were awarded funding:

Tribal Landowner Incentive Program

·        Arizona

Hualapai Nation                                                            $109,229

·        New Mexico

Santa Ana Pueblo                                                         $119,990

Tribal Wildlife Grant Program

·        Arizona

            Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians                                      $199,988

·        New Mexico

Mescalero Apache                                                       $200,000

Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo                                                $199,954

Pueblo of Sandia                                                          $182,655

Pueblo of Tesuque                                                        $199,229

Santa Ana Pueblo                                                         $199,996

Santa Clara Pueblo                                                      $199,118

Ysleta del Sur Pueblo                                                   $200,000

·        Oklahoma

                  Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma                                       $199,998

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 2007, the following funds were distributed through this program:

Section 6 Grants

·        Arizona

Arizona Game and Fish Department                              $348,632

Department of Agriculture                                             $130,562

·        New Mexico

NM Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources               $  77,200

NM Department of Game & Fish                                  $313,810

·        Oklahoma

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation            $125,662

·        Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department                           $622,727

Section 6 - Habitat Conservation Planning

·        Arizona

Arizona Game and Fish Department                             

      Pima County (subgrantee)                                       $274,505

Section 6 - Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition

·        Texas

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department                          

      Travis County (subgrantee)                                     $5,742,500

     

Section 6 - Recovery Land Acquisition

·        Arizona

            Arizona Game & Fish Department                                $ 685,000

·        Texas

            Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

                  The Nature Conservancy (subgrantee)                    $412,750

                  Comal County (subgrantee)                                    $652,312

 

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



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