Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

May 19, 2009

Contact:             Joshua Winchell, 703 358-2279

                           joshua_winchell@fws.gov

 

 

Interior Secretary Salazar Awards States More than $61 Million to Help Wildlife

 

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that more than $61 million will be distributed to the fish and wildlife agencies of the 50 states, commonwealths, the District of Columbia, territories, to help conserve and recover imperiled fish and wildlife through the State Wildlife Grant Program. The State Wildlife Grant program (SWG) provides states, the District of Columbia, commonwealths and territories federal funds for the development and implementation of programs for the benefit of fish and wildlife and their habitats, including species that are not hunted or fished. These program funds come from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

 

“The State Wildlife Grant program exemplifies the Department of the Interior's strong support for conservation efforts by the states," said Salazar. “Along with President Obama's commitment to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the State Wildlife Grants will provide states critical funding to help conserve their highest priority wildlife, plants and habitat.”

 

Funds support both planning and implementation activities. Planning activities must contribute directly to the development or modification of a State’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan (also known as a Wildlife Action Plan). Implementation activities are activities designed to execute their Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan. Priority for use of these funds is placed on those species with the greatest conservation need, while also considering the relative level of funding available for the conservation of those species. 

 

Colorado’s efforts to conserve the Gunnison sage-grouse provide an excellent example of how states are putting SWG funds to use. A number of interrelated SWG-funded projects have completed sage grouse conservation actions outlined in the Colorado Wildlife Action Plan. The effort includes partners such as Colorado Audubon, which has created a citizen volunteer corps to monitor habitat conditions in the Gunnison Basin and to improve habitat on other public and private lands, while Colorado State University will create a habitat guide to help private and public land managers adapt their grazing and land management practices to benefit sage grouse. Conservation easements now protect thousands of acres of high quality sage grouse habitat. These cooperative actions involving the public, private conservation groups, sportsmen, landowners and federal land managers will help the Gunnison sage-grouse survive on a working landscape.

 

The State Wildlife Grants program provides grants to state and other eligible jurisdictions through a formula-based distribution calculated using the state’s land area and population. Congress initiated this grant program in FY 2002 and funded it from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Since the program’s inception, Congress has provided $502,246,708 for conservation work on state and private lands.

 

Please visit the Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program web site at http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/GrantPrograms/SWG/SWG09Apportionment.pdf

 for state, commonwealth, and territory funding allocations. 

 

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.

 

-FWS-