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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Section 6 Grants: What They Are and What They Can Do

We are now seeking proposals from states and U.S. territories interested in obtaining Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (Section 6) grants for fiscal year 2012.

Here’s what you need to know:

What are Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (Section 6) Grants?

To conserve threatened and endangered species, we all need to work together. More than half of all species currently listed as endangered or threatened spend at least part of their life cycle on privately owned lands. One of the Federal government’s most important cooperative tools is the aptly named the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund or, as you may know them, Section 6 grants.

Part of the Endangered Species Act, Section 6 provides funding to states and U.S. territories for conservation activities benefitting threatened and endangered species on non-Federal lands. Section 6 projects range from public education and outreach to land acquisition and restoration or the development of conservation plans.

Success in conserving species will ultimately depend on working cooperatively with landowners, communities, and Tribes to foster voluntary stewardship efforts on private lands. States and U.S. territories play a key role in catalyzing these efforts.

You can learn more about Section 6 grants at our endangered species site.

What can Section 6 grants do? Got any examples?

Here are three GREAT examples of important projects from last year in each of the three categories of Section 6 grants for which we are currently seeking proposals:

Colorado

The State of Colorado used a $449,540 Section 6 grant to support the Turtle Ranch Conservation Easement Project in the northwestern part of the state. This conservation easement will protect 15,156 acres of essential habitat for the federally listed endangered black-footed ferret. Securing this easement will initiate black-footed ferret reintroduction in the area and will serve as a model of incentive-based conservation, highlighting how both endangered species management and an active and profitable agricultural operation can coexist.

Section 6 Grants in Colorado helped protect habitat for Black-Footed Ferrets, like this tired guy above. Credit: Kimberly Tamkun USFWS

This project is an example of a Recovery Land Acquisition Grant. These grants provide funds for the acquisition of threatened and endangered species habitat in support of approved and draft species recovery plans. Acquiring habitat for long-term protection is often the critical element in a comprehensive recovery effort. 

Hawaii 

Last year $259,281 was awarded to the State of Hawaii to fund the coordination and planning of the Kaua’i Seabird Habitat Conservation Plan. The plan will benefit 18 listed plants, the federally listed Hawaiian hoary bat, Hawaiian petrel, and Newell’s shearwater, as well at the band-rumped storm petrel, a candidate for listing. 

Newell's Shearwater Chick in Hawaii: Credit USFWS/Brenda Zaun

This project is an example of a Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grant. These grants provide funds to states and territories to support the development of Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs). The purpose of an HCP is to protect suitable habitat for threatened and endangered species, while also providing for economic growth and development. 

Texas

The State of Texas received over $1.1 million to fund the acquisition of Cobb Cavern in Williamson County. The approximately 67-acre tract will be added to a preserve to benefit the listed Coffin Cave mold beetle and Bone Cave harvestman, as well as provide benefits to the golden-cheeked warbler and the black-capped vireo, which are known to inhabit the parcel during their breeding seasons.

Golden Cheeked Warbler. Credit Steve Maslowski/USFWS

This project is an example of a Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition Grant. These grants provide funds to states and territories to acquire lands associated with HCPs to benefit threatened and endangered species. These grants support the acquisition of habitat land by state or local governments to complement approved HCPs.

How do I apply?

It’s easy. Check here for the local Service office near you and contact for submitting an application. Proposals must be submitted to the appropriate Service regional offices by January 27, 2012.

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