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Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act
Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund
The Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act) provides funding to States and Territories for species and habitat conservation actions on non-Federal lands. States and Territories must contribute a minimum non-Federal match of 25% for the estimated program costs of approved projects, or 10% when two or more States or Territories implement a joint project. A State or Territory must currently have, or enter into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to receive grant funds.
Four grant programs are available through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, they include the "Traditional" Conservation Grants and the "Nontraditional" Grants: Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition, Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance, and Recovery Land Acquisition Grants.
The Conservation Grants program provides financial assistance to States projects that conserve listed species and species at-risk. Funded activities include habitat restoration, species status surveys, public education, and outreach, captive propagation and reintroduction, nesting surveys, genetic studies, and development of management plans. Project selection is generally conducted by Service Endangered Species staff in conjunction with the States. Funding is allocated by formula to the Service Regions based on the number of species covered in the cooperative agreements with the States within that Region. Regional offices then further allocate the funding to the States within that Region by formula or through a competitive process.
"Nontraditional" Section 6 Grants
Projects Funded by "Nontraditional" Section Grants
Through the development of regional Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs), local governments incorporate species conservation into local land use planning, which streamlines the project approval process and facilitates economic development. The Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants program provides funding to States to support the development of HCPs. Planning assistance grants may support planning activities such as document preparation, outreach, and baseline surveys, and inventories. The funding for the Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants is competed for at the National level.
The HCP Land Acquisition program was established by Congress in fiscal year 1997. This program was designed to reduce conflicts between the conservation of listed species and land uses on specific parcels of land. Under this program, the Service provides grants to States for land acquisitions that are associated with approved HCPs. The Service considers the use of Federal acquisition dollars by States for habitat protection within and adjacent to HCP areas to be an important and effective mechanism to promote the recovery of threatened and endangered species.
The HCP Land Acquisition program has three primary purposes: 1) to fund land acquisitions that complement, but do not replace, private mitigation responsibilities contained in HCPs, 2) to fund land acquisitions that have important benefits for listed, proposed, and candidate species, and 3) to fund land acquisitions that have important benefits for ecosystems that support listed, proposed and candidate species.
Loss of habitat is the primary threat to most listed species and land acquisition is often the most effective and efficient means of protecting habitats essential for recovery of listed species before development or other land use changes impair or destroy key habitat values. Land acquisition is costly and often neither the Service nor the States individually have the necessary resources to acquire habitats essential for recovery of listed species. Recovery Land Acquisition grant funds are matched by States and non-federal entities to acquire these habitats from willing sellers in support of approved species recovery plans.
Because the existing HCP Land Acquisition Grants Program provides substantial funding for land acquisitions associated with HCPs, the Recovery Land Acquisition Grants Program will not be used to fund land acquisitions associated with permitted HCPs. The Recovery Land Acquisition Grant program first received funding in fiscal year 2001 of $10.427 million.
Last updated: January 3, 2013