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The Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

 

March 31, 2006

Joshua Winchell, 202/208-5634
Barb Perkins, 303/236-4588

Secretary Norton Announces Funding to States to Prevent Wildlife
from Becoming Endangered

Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton announced today that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will award $60 million in wildlife grants to state and territorial wildlife agencies. The State Wildlife Grant program is designed to assist states in the development and implementation of programs that benefit wildlife and their habitats. The funds are made available through annual appropriations. 

"States have vast experience with and knowledge of conservation issues within their borders. The grant program taps into this expertise and demonstrates our commitment to conservation partnerships with state wildlife agencies," said Secretary Norton. "This program exemplifies our approach by helping states to tailor their conservation efforts in a manner that best fits local conditions." 

To be eligible for State Wildlife Grant funds, each state completed a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan or Strategy. The state plans were created in a collaborative effort that included biologists, conservationists, landowners, sportsmen, and the general public. The plans were reviewed by a national team that included the Fish and Wildlife Service and directors from state wildlife agencies. 

“The bottom line is that we use a strong pro-active approach in constructing our state wildlife action plans to ensure the health and survival of all wildlife,” says John Cooper, president of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “It has resulted in closer working relationships with other conservation agencies and organizations within our states. Never has such a comprehensive set of plans been constructed with so much input.” 

“The plans describe what species and habitats are declining but not yet necessarily endangered,” continued Norton. “By using this information we can act now before it’s too late. The Administration is excited about this historic milestone because it represents our best chance for broad scale cost-effective conservation. This sentiment is shared widely by others in the conservation community.” 

A state may receive no more than 5 percent or less than 1 percent of the available funds. The District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico each receives 0.5 percent and Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands each receives 0.25 percent.  The apportionment is based on a formula that uses the state’s land area and population. Under legislation signed by President Bush in 2001, states and territories so far have received $317 million in grants for conservation efforts. 

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number for the State Wildlife Grants is 15.634.

To learn more about a particular state's wildlife conservation strategy, please see http://www.teaming.com/wildlife_state.htm. To see a state-by-state funding table, please see http://federalaid.fws.gov/swg/SWG%20FINAL%20Apportionment%202006.pdf.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies. 

- FWS -

For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
visit our home page at http://www.fws.gov

 

 


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