May 15, 2013
Michael Woodbridge, 916-978-4445
Brent Lawrence, 703-358-2014
Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Two Migratory Bird Habitat Projects in California’s Central Valley
$25 Million Will Help Fund Conservation Projects in the United States and Mexico
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced the approval of more than $25 million in federal grants and Federal Duck Stamp revenues to fund projects that will protect, restore, or enhance thousands of acres of wildlife habitat in the United States and Mexico for the benefit of shared migratory bird populations.
The funding will affect an estimated 3,373 acres of wildlife habitat in California’s Central Valley. The California Waterfowl Association will receive $1 million to restore 447 acres and enhance 2,569 acres of wetland and nearby upland habitats in Kern and Fresno counties, one of the most important wintering areas for waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway. The grant, awarded through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), will be matched by $1.8 million in non-federal funds.
The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission voted to approve the use of Migratory Bird Conservation Funds–generated by the sale of federal duck stamps–to acquire 367 acres in perpetual conservation easements at the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge in Stanislaus County, California. The land will provide habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, landbirds, marsh birds, and other wetland-dependent species.
“The San Joaquin Refuge protects the wintering grounds for most of the world's population of Aleutian cackling geese,” said Refuge Manager Kim Forrest. “In 25 years, this population has grown from an endangered 800 to a population of 125,000 and was removed from the Endangered Species Act list during the process. These funds will protect habitat for the Aleutian geese, as well as other goose, crane, and waterbird species.”
The Commission approved $6 million in Migratory Bird Conservation funding for projects that will add and enhance wildlife habitat on national wildlife refuges. In addition to the San Joaquin Refuge project, funds were awarded to project on two refuges in Texas, and one refuge in South Carolina. For every dollar spent on Federal Duck Stamps, 98 cents goes directly to purchase or lease vital habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
“Wetlands are some of the most biologically rich habitats in our country, providing nesting and foraging ground for migratory species,” Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said. “They are also facing some of the greatest threats including habitat degradation, land conversion, and sea-level rise.”
$19.5 million was awarded through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act to protect, restore, or enhance more than 170,000 acres of habitat for migratory birds in the United States and Mexico, leveraging $57 million in matching funds. Eighteen projects in 15 states and seven projects in Mexico will receive NAWCA funding.
Ashe lauded the Commission’s approval of the land purchases and conservation grants.
“Protection of wetlands ensures that hunters, anglers, and wildlife watchers and photographers can continue to enjoy these precious resources,” Ashe said. “Wildlife recreationists make up nearly 30 percent of the U.S. population and contribute more than $100 billion to our economy.”
The 2013-14 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, also known as the Federal Duck Stamp, will go on sale June 28. Since 1934, sales of Federal Duck Stamps have raised more than $800 million to acquire 6 million acres of habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System.
The North American Wetlands Conservation Act is the only federal grant program dedicated to the conservation of wetland habitats for migratory birds. Through the Act’s U.S. Standard grants program, 3,300 partners have been involved in 910 projects affecting more than 7 million acres of habitat. More information about the U.S. Standard projects approved is available at: http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NAWCA/Standard/US/2013_March.shtm
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 http://www.fws.gov/cno. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel, and download photos from our Flickr page.
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.
Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets at twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq/