Valerie Fellows, (703) 358-2285 Valerie_Fellows@fws.gov
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking proposals from States and U.S. Territories interested in obtaining federal grant assistance to acquire land or conduct planning for endangered species conservation efforts. For fiscal year 2009, the President's budget request for the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (the Fund) would provide approximately $75.5 million in grant funding for conservation planning activities and habitat acquisition for federally protected species. Proposals must be submitted to the appropriate Service Regional Offices by September 22, 2008.
"Conservation grants are among the Service's most important Federal-State partnership building tools," said Service Director H. Dale Hall. "Local involvement is the cornerstone of conservation success. These grants help to States and Territories to protect vital habitat and work with local communities, private landowners and others to conserve threatened and endangered species."
The Fund is authorized under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act and provides grants to States and Territories to support participation in a wide array of voluntary conservation projects for species on the Federal list of threatened and endangered species, as well as for species that are candidates or have been proposed for listing.
By law, the participating state or territory must have a current cooperative agreement with the Secretary of the Interior and contribute 25 percent of the estimated program costs of approved projects, or 10 percent when two or more States or Territories undertake a joint project. The grants are expected to be awarded soon after federal appropriations are provided for fiscal year 2009.
The Service is seeking proposals for the following three grant categories under the Fund:
Recovery Land Acquisition Grants - These grants provide funds to States and Territories for acquisition of threatened and endangered species habitat in support of approved and draft species recovery plans. Acquiring habitat in order to secure long term protection is often the critical element in a comprehensive recovery effort for a listed species.
Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants - This category provides funds to States and Territories to support the development of Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs). The purpose of an HCP is to ensure adequate protection for threatened and endangered species, while at the same time providing for economic growth and development. These grants provide support for baseline surveys and inventories, document preparation, outreach, and similar planning activities.
HCP Land Acquisition Grants - These grants provide funds to States and Territories to acquire land associated with approved HCPs. Grants do not fund the mitigation required of an HCP permittee, but rather, support acquisitions by the state or local governments that complement actions associated with the HCP.
For more information about these grants and grant application requirements contact: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Consultation, Habitat Conservation Planning, Recovery and State Grants, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 420, Arlington, VA 22203, 703-358-2106. Information also can be accessed at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/grants/.
The Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund is identified in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance as number 15.615.
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.
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