Conserving the Nature of America

News Release

State Wildlife Agencies Receive Grants to Work With Landowners to Conserve At-risk Species

August 7, 2006

Contact:

Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220
Website: https://www.fws.gov/external-affairs/public-affairs/



The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced nearly $19 million in competitive funding for 37 States and Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands fish and wildlife agencies under the Bush Administrations innovative Landowner Incentive Program (LIP). 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.

Conservation, especially conservation of imperiled species, must be a partnership between the American people and their government," said Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne. "By providing these grants, we empower citizens to restore habitat on their land and take other steps to protect and recover endangered, threatened and at-risk species."

LIP, funded through competitive grants with money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, establishes or supplements existing landowner incentive programs that provide technical or financial assistance to private landowners. All grants need to be matched by at least 25 percent from a non-Federal source.

Landowners interested in participating in LIP should contact their State fish and wildlife agency. For more information about the grant programs, please visit http://federalaid.fws.gov/lip/lip.html. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance reference number is 15.633.

A brief summary of the projects follows:

The Alabama Game and Fish Department will receive $856,750 and match $424,646 to help restore 115 species of special concern and 34 federally listed aquatic and cave species found in the Middle Tennessee River drainage. The specific project area includes Fern Cave which is the largest hibernaculum for endangered gray bats as well as thousands of other caves that harbor at least 24 cave dependent species found only in this project area. The Paint Rock River, where much of the aquatic restoration will occur, contains 98 species of freshwater fishes and 58 species of mussels. The project will work with private landowners to stabilize stream banks, restore bottomland hardwoods and riparian areas, exclude livestock from streams, construct fish passage, and install gates at the entrance to caves.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will receive nearly $180,000 and match $60,000. These funds will provide technical support, outreach and coordination to assist private landowners and their conservation partners to benefit at-risk fish and wildlife species on private lands.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department will receive nearly $946,000 and match nearly $491,000 to provide private landowners with the technical assistance necessary to develop habitat projects benefiting species-at-risk. Proposed projects include the conservation of riparian and grassland habitats on private lands throughout Arizona.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife will receive nearly $946,000 and match $945,760 to provide financial support for private landowner projects to protect and manage wildlife habitat on private lands for species-at-risk. The LIP program focus areas will include the Gunnison Basin, Front Range Riparian Corridors, and short-grass prairie in the central and southeastern portion of the state. Conservation easements and habitat restoration work will be pursued to benefit species-at-risk that include Gunnison sage grouse, Prebles meadow jumping mouse, mountain plover, burrowing owl, Ferruginous hawk, greater sage grouse, lesser prairie chicken and other associated shortgrass prairie species.

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to provide private landowners technical assistance to manage, restore and protect habitat for at-risk species on their land.

The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to provide private landowners technical assistance to manage, restore and protect habitat for at-risk species on their land.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to help 149 landowners in managing habitat on their land.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will receive nearly $946,000 and match more than $472,000 to provide private landowners with technical support to develop habitat projects on private land and benefit at-risk species in the Upper Henrys Fork, Bear River Basin, and Palouse Prairie by removing fish barriers and controlling invasive plants on private lands.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will receive nearly $946,000 and match nearly $491,000 to continue work in the Lower Sangamon River Watershed and will expand into the Alton Bluffs area near St. Louis. Proposed projects will include hill prairie restoration, invasive species control, timber stand improvement and restoration of prairies, wetlands, forests and streams.

The Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to conserve more than 100 species of concern. In past years, biologists developed best management practices for species as diverse as the blue-spotted salamander, Kirtlands snake, the northern cave fish, and the spotted darter. Now this new grant money will be used to recruit landowners interested in implementing these practices on their property. The agency expects to work with more than 700 landowners through the life of this grant.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to implement monitoring protocols developed and approved through the Iowa Wildlife Action Plan. It is important that monitoring approaches are expanded and refined by gathering baseline data and standardizing protocols.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks will receive $680,000 and match $226,000 to provide private landowners with technical support to implement projects in the Shortgrass Prairie Conservation Region and the Central Mixed Grass Prairie Conservation Region identified in their Wildlife Action Plan. At-risk-species to benefit from habitat enhancement and restoration work include lesser prairie chicken, black-tailed prairie dog, Ferruginous hawk, northern pintail, American avocet, black tern, Cassins sparrow, whooping crane, green toad, flathead chub, Arkansas darter, and Topeka shiner.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to further supply landowner assistance and provide necessary administrative expenditures.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will receive nearly $946,000 and match $545,000 to provide land trusts and private landowners technical assistance to manage, restore and protect habitat for at-risk species on their land and to purchase permanent conservation easements to protect 1,000 acres of habitat for at least 15 at-risk species on private lands in southern and coastal Maine.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will receive $945,000 and match $320,000 to provide private landowners with technical assistance to manage, restore and protect habitat involving at-risk species on their land for 137 plant and 138 animal species considered at-risk throughout Maryland. Proposed restoration activities include establishment of riparian buffers, reforestation, invasive species control, fencing and restoration of wetlands.

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to provide private landowners with technical assistance to manage, restore and protect habitat for at-risk species on their land.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will receive nearly $946,000 and match $404,038 to provide private landowners with technical support to develop habitat projects on private land in the southern grasslands and wetlands, northern pine barrens and jack pine forests, and northern conifers. Proposed projects include invasive species removal, prescribed fire, restoring hydrology, and planting native vegetation.

The Minnesota Division of Fish and Wildlife will receive $108,488 and match $36,163 to continue and expand work in the prairie, bluffland and Southeast forest habitat areas.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to coordinate with numerous partners who will develop conservation easements, conduct prescribed burning, repair riparian corridors, and restore longleaf pine ecosystems. These activities are expected to benefit 196 at-risk species. Additional outreach efforts to landowners will include field days, workshops, brochures, broadcasts and public presentations. Previous LIP funding was used to develop a bottomland hardwood restoration handbook. Mississippi employs a full time LIP coordinator and a project supervisor to implement the program.

The Missouri Department of Conservation will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to expand the private land conservation component of the Departments endangered species program.

The Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Department will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to identify priority habitat restoration needs for sagebrush grassland and Big Hole habitats and then to provide technical assistance, outreach, and coordination to landowners to help restore and protect those habitats on their lands.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will receive $945,000 and match $501,250 to implement projects on biologically unique landscapes identified in their Legacy Plan that will benefit at-risk species which include Massasauga rattlesnake, Greater prairie chicken, Henslows sparrow, regal fritillary butterfly, western prairie fringed orchid, American burying beetle, whooping crane, long-bract green orchid, wild sarsaparilla and Iowa moonwort.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife will receive nearly $617,000 and match $305,700 to provide technical and financial incentives to evaluate, protect, and restore habitat for at-risk species on privately-owned lands. Nevada will focus this year on aquatic and riparian habitats, implementation of existing Conservation and Safe Harbor Agreements and small grant opportunities for habitat restoration projects not part of a larger program emphasis.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will receive nearly $946,000 and match $765,254 to provide land trusts and private landowners with technical assistance to manage, restore and protect habitat for at-risk species on their land, to purchase permanent conservation easements on 1,000 acres and restore 500 acres of priority habitat for at least 20 at-risk species in New Hampshire.

The New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Species Program will receive nearly $946,000 and match $329,051 to restore and maintain 1,000 acres of grasslands for at-risk bird species, protect roosting habitat for the Federally endangered Indiana bat, manage habitat for the Federally threatened bog turtle, and protect and manage vernal pools on private lands in New Jersey.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to provide private landowners with the technical assistance necessary to develop habitat projects benefiting species-at-risk.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to provide private landowners with technical assistance to manage, restore and protect habitat for at-risk species on their land.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to provide private landowners with the technical assistance necessary to develop habitat projects benefiting species-at-risk.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will receive nearly $946,000 and match $315,254 to focus on projects in the East Cascades and Willamette Valley in ponderosa pine, oak woodland savanna, riparian, wetland, and freshwater aquatic habitats.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to provide private landowners technical assistance to manage, restore and protect habitat for at-risk species on their land.

The Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources will receive $75,000 and match $43,694 to provide the needed funds to focus some existing partnerships on needs for species of special concern.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will receive more than $945,000 and match $358,461 to address the States rich cave resources that house two federally listed species, 6 candidates for listing, and 29 species of special concern. Last year, researchers identified 9 cave species that were new to science. Aquatic resources to be addressed include 59 at risk species. Proposed cooperative actions with private landowners include livestock exclusion, shoreline restoration and protection, creation of riparian buffers and hardened stream access. Cave protection activities include cave entrance barriers, waste removal from sinkholes and vegetated buffer zones.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to provide private landowners with the technical assistance necessary to develop habitat projects benefiting species-at-risk.

The U.S. Virgin Islands Division of Fish and Wildlife will receive $75,000 to address a variety of endangered and threatened species found on private lands. The Nature Conservancy will assist the agency with planned activities.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to provide private landowners with technical assistance to manage, restore and protect habitat for at-risk species on their land.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will receive nearly $946,000 and match more than $404,000 to focus its LIP projects on shrub steppe habitat surrounding pygmy rabbit reintroduction sites, wetlands, riparian, and riverine habitats, as well as a variety of small projects, to benefit at-risk species. Proposed projects on private land include installing artificial burrows for pygmy rabbits, removing the invasive non-native rodent nutria in wetlands, and replacing undersized culverts in streams.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to provide private landowners technical assistance to manage, restore and protect habitat for at-risk species on their land.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will receive $68,761 and match $22,921 to work with private landowners on habitats in the prairie and savannah habitat areas as well as in the northern Lake Michigan coastal ecological landscape.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will receive $945,000 and match $1,583,000 to provide private landowners with technical support to benefit at-risk species on private land. Funds will also enable coordination with private landowners to establish on the ground LIP projects. Wyoming will focus on projects throughout the States grasslands, sagebrush, and prairie aquatic habitats. At risk species to benefit from habitat enhancement and restoration work include black-tailed prairie dogs, swift fox, burrowing owls, upland sandpipers, greater sage grouse, brewers sparrow, sage sparrow, shovelnose sturgeon, flathead chub, plains minnow and silvery minnow.

Information contained in older news items may be outdated. These materials are made available as historical archival information only. Individual contacts have been replaced with general External Affairs office information. No other updates have been made to the information and we do not guarantee current accuracy or completeness.


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