Midwest Tribes Receive Over $595,000 in
Tribal Wildlife Grants for Fiscal Year 2013
By Joanna Gilkeson
External Affairs and
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Midwest Region announced funding in May for three Tribal fish and wildlife conservation projects totaling $595,148 through the Service’s Tribal Wildlife Grant Program.
Tribes that received funding include: Prairie Island Indian Community, the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, both in Minnesota; and the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi in Michigan.
Tribal Wildlife Grants provide assistance to Tribes for development and implementation of programs that benefit fish and wildlife resources and their habitat. Activities funded through the program may include: planning for wildlife and habitat conservation, fish and wildlife conservation and management actions, fish and wildlife related research, habitat mapping, field surveys and population monitoring, habitat protection and public education relevant to the conservation project.
Since 2003, more than 360 projects -- totaling over $60 million have been funded nationwide, to federally recognized Tribes through the Service’s Tribal Wildlife Grant Program. These projects have made a substantial difference on the ground and have helped build capacity for Tribal management of culturally important fish, wildlife and plant species.
Conservation Restoration Area—Prairie Island Indian Community ($200,000): Activities in the project area include oak savanna habitat restoration, habitat connectivity improvement within the Mississippi River backwaters, recreational trail development with interpretive elements, cultural resource harvest plan development, invasive plant eradication, and wildlife monitoring and surveys. These habitat enhancement activities, guided by the Tribe’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan, will restore rare native habitats and improve ecological functions in certain important areas, and benefit migratory birds within the Mississippi River flyway and the Vermillion/Cannon River Important Bird area.
Rehabilitation, Evaluation and Range Determination of Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) in the headwaters of the largest tributary to the Red River of the North in the United States—Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians ($197,000): Recent efforts made by Tribal, State, Federal, and private partners have assisted toward restoring lake sturgeon, a species that was extirpated from the entire Red River of the North Watershed by the 1950’s. Actions under this grant include continuing the stocking program and implementing management activities that will provide additional baseline biological information, as described in the Band’s 10-year lake sturgeon recovery plan. Information collected will assist with future management actions for 47,000 eventual reintroduced lake sturgeon fingerlings with as many as 20 different age classes. This multi-agency restoration effort of this significant species is both culturally and traditionally important to the Red Lake Band.
Grand Kankakee Marsh Restoration—Pokagon Band of Potawatomi ($198,148): Actions under this grant will restore wetland and wildlife habitats at the Band’s North Liberty Property in Indiana. Additionally, the public awareness component will provide educational, interpretive and cultural activities in support of fish and wildlife conservation. These activities complement the Band’s long-range plan of restoring the Grand Kankakee Marsh’s wetland and tall grass prairie habitats for habitat sensitive species, close to conditions prior to the mid-19th century’s levee installations and drainage of the marsh to create new farmlands.
The Service received 108 proposals requesting a total of $18.4 million in project funding this year. The proposals were reviewed by regional and national scoring panels and 23 projects totaling $4,140,000 were funded. More information on the projects funded is available at: http://www.fws.gov/home/newsroom/23nativeamertribeNR05232013.html