April 12, 2010
Contact: Georgia Parham 812-334-4261 x 1203
Valerie Fellows 703.358.2285
Secretary Salazar Announces Nearly $66 Million in Grants to Conserve Habitat of Threatened and Endangered Species
Six Midwest States to Receive Funding
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced nearly $66 million in grants to enable 25 states to work with private landowners, conservation organizations and other partners to protect and conserve the habitat of threatened and endangered species. A total of $5,575,910 will fund conservation projects in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The grants, awarded through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, will benefit numerous plants and animals, including imperiled Midwestern species such as the Karner blue butterfly, Indiana bat and western prairie fringed orchid.
“These grants are part of our ongoing commitment to work with states and other partners to ensure America’s beautiful land and wildlife are conserved for future generations,” Salazar said. “They provide the means for states to develop the long-term partnerships with landowners and communities necessary to conserve habitat and foster stewardship that will bring species back from the threat of extinction.”
Authorized by Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act, the competitive grants enable states to work with private landowners, conservation groups and other agencies to initiate conservation planning efforts and acquire and protect habitat to support the conservation of threatened and endangered species.
This year, the Cooperative Endangered Species Fund provides approximately $10 million through the Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants Program, $41 million through the Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition Grants Program, and $15 million through the Recovery Land Acquisition Grants Program. The three programs were established to help avoid potential conflicts between the conservation of threatened and endangered species and land development and use.
The states of Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio will receive a total of $3,362,364 to assist in the development of a landscape-level, multi-species HCP throughout the states to provide conservation benefits to listed species, while accommodating wind development. The plan will provide a means for wind energy developers to avoid, minimize, mitigate and compensate for adverse effects to protected species. As a part of the HCP, the five states will work in collaboration with Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin, the wind industry, and The Conservation Fund to lead a strategic conservation planning process that focuses on integrating species needs with potential habitat mitigation across the landscape.
In Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources will receive $452,000 under the Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition Program to acquire 298 acres within the Quincy Bluff and Wetlands State Natural Area in Adams County. Another 64 acres will be acquired at Karner Blue Meadow State Natural Area in Waushara County. Both sites contain important habitat for the endangered Karner blue butterfly.
Also in Wisconsin, a total of $751,023 was awarded under the Recovery Land Acquisition Grant program to acquire habitat for the recovery of three imperiled plants: the northern wild monkshood (Grant County), Fassett’s locoweed (Waushara County) and prairie bush clover (Dane County).
In Iowa, a grant for $259,500 will allow the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to acquire 80 acres of habitat in Cherokee County to protect the threatened western prairie fringed orchid.
Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) are agreements between a landowner and the Service. These agreements allow a landowner to undertake otherwise lawful activities on their property, even if they may result in the death, injury or harassment of a listed species, when that landowner agrees to conservation measures designed to minimize and mitigate the impact of those actions. HCPs may also be developed by a county or state to cover certain activities of all landowners within their jurisdiction and may address multiple species.
Under the HCP Land Acquisition Grants Program, the Service provides grants to states or territories for land acquisition that complements the conservation objectives of approved HCPs. The HCP Planning Assistance Grants Program provides grants to states and territories to support the development of HCPs through funding of baseline surveys and inventories, document preparation, outreach and similar planning activities.
The Recovery Land Acquisition Grants Program provides funds to states and territories to acquire habitat for endangered and threatened species with approved recovery plans. Habitat acquisition to secure long term protection is often an essential element of a comprehensive recovery effort for a listed species.
For a complete list of the 2010 grant awards for these programs (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 15.615), see the Service’s Endangered Species Grants home page at http://endangered.fws.gov/grants/section6/index.html.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
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