News Release

October 26, 2011

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Proposals from States for FY 2012 Endangered Species Grants

Media Contacts:
Vanessa Kauffman, (703) 358-2138

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking proposals from states and U.S. territories interested in obtaining federal financial assistance to acquire land or conduct planning efforts for endangered species conservation. For fiscal year (FY) 2012, the President's budget request for the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund includes $100 million in grant funding for conservation activities benefitting federally protected species.

The Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (CESCF) is authorized under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) 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 either candidates or have been proposed for listing. These projects range from species status surveys, captive propagation, and public education to habitat acquisition, restoration, and the development of conservation plans.

"These grants provide critical funding for state and territory conservation efforts for threatened and endangered species," said Director Dan Ashe. "By supporting states and territories, the federal funds continue the Endangered Species Act's long legacy of protecting healthy, thriving ecosystems for generations to come."

The Service is seeking proposals under the following three CESCF categories:

Recovery Land Acquisition Grants: These grants provide funds for the 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. Last year, $449,540 was awarded to the State of Colorado for the 15,000-acre Turtle Ranch Conservation Easement Project. Securing this easement will initiate black-footed ferret reintroduction on the parcel 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.

Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants: These grants provide funds to support the development of Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs). The purpose of an HCP is to ensure adequate protection of suitable habitat for threatened and endangered species, while at the same time providing for economic growth and development. The State of Hawaii was awarded $259,281 last year to fund the coordination and planning of the Kaua'i Seabird HCP to benefit the federally listed Hawaiian hoary bat, Hawaiian petrel, and Newell's shearwater, as well as approximately 18 listed plant species.

HCP Land Acquisition Grants: These grants provide funds to states and territories to acquire habitat land for threatened and endangered species associated with approved HCPs. Over $1.1 million was awarded last year to the State of Texas for acquisition of the 67-acre Cobb Cavern tract in Williamson County. The parcel will be added to a preserve to benefit the listed Coffin Cave mold beetle and Bone Cave harvestman.

By law, the state or territory must have a current cooperative agreement with the Secretary of the Interior and contribute at least 25 percent of the total project costs, or ten percent when two or more states or territories undertake a joint project. Proposals must be submitted to the appropriate Service regional offices by January 27, 2012.

For more information about these grants and the application requirements contact: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Consultation, HCPs, Recovery, and State Grants, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 420, Arlington, VA 22203, 703-358-2171. The Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund is identified in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance as number 15.615.

The ESA provides a critical safety net for America's native fish, wildlife, and plants. The Service is working to actively engage conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. To learn more about the grants, visit the Endangered Species Program online at: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/grants/index.html