U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
In 2001, Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) initiated an effort to restore and conserve an 840-acre tract of land adjacent to their Cane Ridge Wildlife Management Area to aid in the recovery of endangered Interior Least Terns. However, the Refuge had no money. That didn?t stop Bill McCoy! The project got its start with the Refuge and Regional Office Endangered Species staff teaming up to write a $850,000 Habitat Conservation Planning Grant for the Indiana DNR to use for acquisition of the land. At the same time, the Indiana DNR teamed up with the Natural Resource Conservation Service and obtained a commitment for Wetland Reserve Program easement funds of $1,634,000. The deep mining coal rights to the property were subordinated by the leasee in favor of the Wetland Reserve Program easement rights. The funds to purchase the surface coal rights were obtained from the current landowner, who donated $125,000 toward the acquisition in exchange for one year of extended use of the land (a condition granted by the Natural Resource Conservation Service). The NRCS have also agreed to contribute up to $400,000 of additional funds to restore Interior Least Tern habitat on the property once acquisition was complete. Contact: Bill McCoy, Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge, 812-749-3199.
Morris Wetland Management District, in partnership with Mr. Kyle Kirkeby, forth grade teacher at Ortonville Public School, have developed innovative ways to raise money to restore wetlands in western Minnesota. Over the past eight years, Mr. Kirkeby?s forth grade class have sold ?chewing gum? permits to students as a way to raise money for wetland restorations. As a result, the class has raised approximately $8,450 and generated over $55,000 in matching funds from conservation partners. The funds have been responsible for restoring more than 540 acres of wetland habitat in Big Stone County. Each year the Wetland Management District?s Partners for Fish and Wildlife staff team-up with Mr. Kirkeby?s forth grade class to complete the wetland restorations, providing further benefits in environmental education. In July 2003, Mr. Kirkeby and his fourth grade students from 1995-2003 were awarded the National Wetland Conservation Award in the group/organization category for exceptional wetland activities. Contact: Darrell Haugen, Morris Wetland Management District, 320-589-1001.
In 2001, Service biologists from Regions 3, 4, and 5 developed a multi-region, multi-agency contaminant proposal for toxicology measures in freshwater mussels. At the time, the proposal was a first of its kind involving multiple Regions evaluating the effects of contaminants on threatened and endangered mussels. One of the outcomes of the project was to develop an ASTM standard for toxicity tests in unionid mussels so taxonomic groups could be included in tests that EPA uses to develop water quality criteria. As a result of that effort, EPA has changed the way they view the effects of some contaminants on mussels in the eastern United States. Contact - Jim Dwyer, Columbia Missouri Ecological Services Office, 573-876-1911.