News Release

Interior Secretary Salazar Announces Award of $9 million in Grants to States for Imperiled Species Conservation

April 20, 2009

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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today the award of more than $9 million to 12 state wildlife agencies to help conserve and recover imperiled fish and wildlife species through the State Wildlife Grants (SWG) Competitive Program. The federal funding will be matched by more than $7 million in non-Federal funds provided by states and their partners for projects helping imperiled fish, wildlife and plant species.

The SWG Competitive Program, part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s which collectively provide a nationwide blueprint for actions to conserve imperiled species. The plans were created through a collaborative effort among state and federal agencies, biologists, conservationists, landowners, sportsmen and the general public. Each plan was then reviewed and approved by a national team that included members from the Fish and Wildlife Service as well as directors from state wildlife agencies.

Funded projects include:

    Arizona Game and Fish Department: Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Grassland Initiative – Conserving the Grassland Ecosystem – This project will help improve the status of more than12 species of concern found in portions of 12 western States (Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas).

    Federal funds awarded: $484,780; non-federal match: $217,800
    Georgia Department of Natural Resources: Multistate Sandhills Ecological Restoration Project – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina – This project will increase the quality, quantity, and connectivity of priority Sandhill sites on public and private lands in four States for the benefit of 55 species of concern, including the gopher tortoise, by restoring more than 38,500 acres of habitat through prescribed burning, hardwood/invasive species removal, and planting longleaf pine.

    Federal funds awarded: $1 million; non-federal match: $1,663,587
  • Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife: Establishing a Second Maui Parrotbill Population –Logistical and Research Support – This project will fund the collection of biological information, captive breeding and reintroduction efforts, and the habitat restoration for the Maui Parrotbill – a bird listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. This project will also benefit 10 other imperiled species in the State of Hawaii.

    Federal funds awarded: $500,353; non-federal match: $406,800
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources: Prairie Fen and Associated Savanna Restoration in Michigan and Indiana for Species of Greatest Conservation Need – This grant will restore and enhance 200 acres of prairie fens and associated savannas to benefit the federally endangered Mitchell’s satyr butterfly, as well as another 400 acres for the eastern massasauga rattlesnake, a candidate species for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Thirty-two other imperiled species will also benefit from this project.

    Federal funds awarded: $864,020; non-federal match: $600,421
    Missouri Department of Conservation: State Wildlife Implementation Resources and Capacity Building Tools for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation – This project will evaluate amphibian and reptile species of concern for vulnerabilities to climate change, priority habitats, and monitoring needs; and will provide capacity building opportunities for state wildlife agencies with respect to amphibians and reptiles. The project includes partners from 14 States and represents a national cooperative effort to address amphibian and reptile conservation needs.

    Federal funds awarded: $319,833; non-federal match: $145,585
    Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks: Clearwater Lands Project – The Clearwater Lands Project comprises a 24,311-acre parcel within the Blackfoot River Aquatic Focus Area and the Mission/Swan Valley & Mountains Terrestrial Focus Area. This project will secure a conservation easement over 560 acres within the 24,311-acre parcel. The 560-acre portion contains important bull trout spawning habitat and high-quality, unprotected Canada lynx habitat. Project lands include high quality habitat for 12 species of concern, including bull trout, grizzly bears, Canada lynx, and gray wolves.

    Federal funds awarded: $640,640; non-federal match: $524,160
    Nebraska Game and Parks Commission: Nebraska Natural Legacy Plan Implementation – At-risk Species Conservation on Private Lands – This project will help to stabilize or improve populations of a large number of at-risk species by enhancing and restoring native prairies, wetlands, and woodlands on private lands in Nebraska. This objective will be accomplished by providing private landowners with the technical and financial assistance to enhance at-risk species habitat on nearly 20,000 acres and by conducting project monitoring.

    Federal funds awarded: $1 million; non-federal match: $663,334
    New Hampshire Fish and Game Department: Rangewide New England Cottontail Initiative –This project will restore 1,200 acres of habitat, creating 50 new habitat patches across the New England cottontail rabbit’s range. The long-term goal of this initiative is to address the needs of the and over 100 other at-risk species that depend on early-successional habitats.

    Federal funds awarded: $731,975; non-federal match: $315,299
    New Hampshire Fish and Game Department: Staying Connected in the Northern Appalachians – Mitigating Fragmentation & Climate Change Impacts on Wildlife through Functional Habitat Linkages – This project will maintain, enhance, and restore habitat connectivity for 41 wide-range and forest-dwelling species of concern including Canada lynx, American marten, wolf, black bear, and bobcat across the Northern Appalachians Ecoregion in order to mitigate the impacts of habitat fragmentation and climate change.

    Federal Funds Awarded: $992,592; Non-Federal Match: $719,519
    Pennsylvania Game Commission: White Nose Syndrome – Multi-State Coordination, Investigation and Rapid Response to an Emerging Wildlife Health Threat – This project will support a region-wide coordinated approach to the spread of White Nose Syndrome (a syndrome causing unprecedented mortality among cave bats in the Northeast). The project will investigate the causative agent(s), transmission, and control; detect new occurrences and manage the threat to adjoining regions; and implement response and control strategies. Eleven states (CT, DE, MD, NH, NJ, NY, PA, VA, VT, WI, WV) are participating as active partners.

    Federal funds awarded: $940,870; non-federal match: $431,940
    Utah Department of Natural Resources: June Sucker Recovery and Ecosystem Restoration through Carp Removal at Utah Lake – The Utah Department of Natural Resources will systematically remove one million invasive common carp per year from Utah Lake in order to help the endangered June sucker recover. The June sucker’s range is limited to Utah Lake and several small tributaries, while common carp are estimated to comprise 90 percent of the lake’s biomass –posing the biggest threat to June sucker recovery. Other species of concern will also benefit from this project, including Bonneville cutthroat trout, least chub, and spotted frogs.

    Federal funds awarded: $1,000,000; non-federal match: $510,000
    Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: Multistate Recovery of the Oregon Spotted Frog and the Species Assemblage Associated with Warmwater Marshes – This project will support and help transform numerous ongoing projects into a cohesive, range-wide recovery program for the Oregon Spotted Frog. The Oregon spotted frog is currently an endangered species in Washington State, a red-listed species in British Columbia, and a species of concern in both Oregon and California. By working across the Oregon spotted frog’s geographic range and engaging private landowners, the project will help optimize efforts to conserve its habitat and increase the resilience of frog populations to human disturbance and other threats.

    Federal award: $841,872; non-federal match: $754,409
    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: Restoration Incentives and Assessments for Private Lands in the Driftless Region – This project will benefit the 16,203 square mile Driftless Area in southwest Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, and northwest Illinois. The Driftless Area supports disproportionately high plant and animal biodiversity due to its unique habitat mosaic of bluffs, savanna, hill prairie, hardwood forest, and coldwater limestone streams. The project will provide financial and technical assistance to private landowners to voluntarily manage their property for the benefit of species of concern and will support efforts to locate new properties with restorable native habitat.

    Federal funds awarded: $559,602: non-federal match: $397,486

--FWS--