Becky Miller, California-Nevada Opns - Federal Assistance 916-978-6185
Nicholas Throckmorton, Washington Office 202-208-5634
California and Nevada to Receive Share of $13 Million Land Owner Incentive Program Grants
Funds Will Help Conserve At Risk Species on Privately Owned Land
Fish and wildlife agencies in California and Nevada will share nearly $1.7 million in competitive funding to support cooperative conservation efforts on privately owned land, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today. The California Department of Fish and Game, and the Nevada Department of Wildlife are among agencies in 17 states that will share in nearly $13 million under the Landowner Incentive Program. The program supports cooperative efforts with private landowners interested in conserving natural habitat for species at risk, including federally listed endangered or threatened species and proposed or candidate species.
The California Department of Fish and Game will receive $849,510 to provide funding to private landowners to restore and manage riparian habitat along the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers for a period of up to 10 years. The Nevada Department of Wildlife will also receive $849,510 to provide technical support and funding to private landowners to enhance and restore riparian and aquatic and sage grouse upland habitats.
The competitive grants are funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund and establish or supplement existing landowner incentive programs that provide technical or financial assistance to private landowners. All grants need to be matched by funding of at least 25 percent from a non-federal source.
For more information about the grant programs, please visit us on the web at: http://federalaid.fws.gov/lip/lip.html. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance reference number is 15.633.
A brief summary of projects in other states follows:
The Alabama Department of Conservation, will receive $849,510 to expand the landowner incentive program to address statewide issues. The program will focus on Longleaf Pine ecosystem restoration and stream restoration in the Cahaba, Choctawhatchee and Coosa river basins.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department will receive $849,510 to fund conservation projects that will benefit 108 at-risk riparian and native grassland species including the federally listed Chiricahua leopard frog and Gila chub and the Ferruginous hawk.
The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife will receive $527,608 to work with private landowners to protect, restore and enhance five of the key wildlife habitats identified in the state?s Wildlife Action Plan. More than 40 of the 179 species of greatest conservation need identified in the plan will benefit as a result of these activities on private lands.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will receive $849,510 that will be used to restore, or enhance approximately 1,800 acres of upland habitat, 300 acres of wetlands and 4 miles of streams. Funding will also be used to obtain conservation easements on 115 acres of Palouse Prairie remnants to benefit targeted at-risk species. Idaho will focus their on-the-ground work in the Upper Henry?s Fork watershed, Bear River Basin, and Palouse Prairie Conservation Priority Areas.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will receive $765,760 to provide financial support to restore or enhance approximately 1,700 acres in the Alton Bluffs and Lower Sangamon River Watershed.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Natural Areas Program will receive $527,607 to help implement many of the habitat conservation strategies for species of greatest conservation need identified in Maine?s Wildlife Action Plan. This additional funding will be used to permanently protect, manage and monitor more than 300 acres of habitat for at-risk plant and animal species within 22 Focus Areas in southern and coastal Maine through the purchase of permanent conservation easements.
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife will receive $849,510 to continue to provide technical and financial assistance to private landowners through their Landowner Incentive Program. The State will use this new funding exclusively to create, manage and restore habitat for species identified as at-risk in the Massachusetts Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will receive $765,760 to provide financial support to private landowners to restore or enhance 2,800 acres of habitat for targeted at-risk species. Michigan will focus on three program areas: southern prairies, savannas and wetlands, jack pine highlands, and Lake Superior forest.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will receive $328,240 to provide financial support to implement selected projects to restore or enhance approximately 900 acres of habitat for targeted at-risk species and provide stewardship/management plans and technical assistance to approximately 35 landowners.
The Missouri Department of Conservation will receive $721,920 to provide financial support to implement selected projects that will restore 2,050 acres in six Grassland Conservation Opportunity Areas and purchase conservation easements on 35 acres in selected Bios peak areas.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will receive $765,000 to continue its Natural Legacy Plan. Nebraska and its partners will enhance 2,420 acres of at-risk species habitat through invasive tree clearing, 11,300 acres through prescribed burning, 12,600 acres through planned grazing, 1,000 acres through ecologically sensitive weed control and 100 acres through wetland restoration.
The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife will receive $849,510 to provide financial and technical assistance to private landowners to restore, manage and enhance habitat to protect both federal and state listed endangered and threatened species as well as state species of concern. New Jersey expects to manage an additional 1,000 acres of grassland habitat, restore two new bog turtle populations, manage maternity roost trees for Indiana bats, continue funding the small grants program and work with several private landowners in Cape May peninsula to restore and enhance important wildlife habitat.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will receive $849,510 to provide financial support and technical assistance to restore or enhance approximately 840 acres of sagebrush, wetland, and riparian habitat, and nine miles of stream habitat to benefit the greater sage-grouse and Coho salmon, as well as other at-risk species.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will receive $849,510 to continue a large-scale landowner incentive program in nine ecologically distinct provinces. On average, each landowner project impacts at least seven at risk species and at least four federally designated species. Many projects address degraded water quality in streams with high biological diversity. The agency expects to add at least 60 participating landowners.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will receive $849,510 to provide financial support and technical assistance to protect, restore, or enhance approximately 3,500 feet of river and 130 acres of floodplain habitat, provide salmon access to 100 acres of river habitat, and obtain conservation easements on 2,170 acres to protect critical floodplain, estuary, and shrub-steppe habitat to benefit the greater sage-grouse and salmon species, as well as other at-risk species. For this fiscal year, Washington will focus their on-the-ground work in the Columbia Plateau Ecoregion and in Hood Canal.
The Landowner Incentive Program will not be funded next year. While cooperative conservation remains a significant part of the Service?s efforts, recent evaluations have indicated that this program is duplicative of other programs. At-risk species will benefit by shifting resources from this program to others that can demonstrate results such as the National Wildlife Refuge System, Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act programs.
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 97-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 547 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.