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


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 11, 2002

Contact:
Tom MacKenzie, 404/679-7291
Patricia Fisher, 202-208-1459

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking proposals from states and U.S. territories interested in acquiring land or conducting conservation planning for endangered species. Although at this time the Service has not yet received a final fiscal year 2003 appropriation, the agency is proceeding with a request for proposals to ensure timely completion of the grant selection process in anticipation of a final appropriation. The three grant programs fund planning activities and land acquisition for federally protected species and grants are expected to be awarded in Spring 2003.

“We’ve been hearing from grantees that endangered species grants encouraged partnerships at the state and local level to develop projects and acquire land to conserve federally-listed species,” said Service Director Steve Williams. “Because there are no one-size fits all solutions for conservation problems, these partnerships are essential to the development and implementation of effective, publicly supported projects.”

Included below are some examples of how some 2002 grants are making a difference in the Southeast:

  • Georgia: The Georgia Department of Natural Resources received funds to help buy 5,480 acres of land next to their Chickaswhatchee Wildlife Management Area in Albany. Chickaswatchee Swamp is one of the largest remaining freshwater swamps in the Southeast. The area is being managed for the recovery of several endangered and threatened species like the wood stork and the gulf moccasinshell mussel and for the protection of migratory birds, fish, mussels, animals, and plants.

  • The Georgia Department of Natural Resources received a $281,934 grant to facilitate the ongoing phases of a multi-year, multi-county habitat conservation planning (HCP) process in the Upper Etowah River basin that will have significant benefits for 15 listed and candidate aquatic species. The grant helped fund steering committee meetings, public meetings, outreach materials, development of a regional greenspace protection plan, and a statistical model of storm water run-off and erosion sources and their effects on aquatic species. Another HCP grant was awarded to facilitate the purchase of two tracts totaling up to 748 acres adjacent to DNR’s Moody Forest Natural Area. The tracts supplement lands managed for recovery of the red-cockaded woodpecker as part of DNR’s statewide incidental take permit for this species.

  • Tennessee: The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation received funding to aid the recovery of the endangered plant, Pyne’s ground plum. A population of 250 or 300 plants is found in Rutherford County, Tennessee, near Murfreesboro. Protection of this site protects one of only three known populations of the ground plum and its pristine cedar glade habitat.

  • The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency received funds to help acquire land on the Duck River in Marshall and Maury Counties. Protection is assured for several fish and mussel species, including three federally-listed mussel species.

  • Florida: The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services received a grant to protect one of the largest sites of the federally-endangered Lakela’s mint in St. Lucie County.

  • North Carolina: The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission received funds to obtain land along the Little Tennessee River to protect the federally-listed spotfin chub and Appalachian elktoe mussel.

The grants are to be awarded from the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, authorized under the Endangered Species Act. This fund provides grants to states and territories to support their participation in a wide array of voluntary conservation projects for listed species, as well as for species that are either proposed or candidates for listing. By law, the state or territory must have a current cooperative agreement with the Service and contribute 25% of the estimated program costs of approved projects, or 10 percent when two or more states or territories undertake a joint project.

The three grant programs are:

  • Recovery Land Acquisition Grants - These grants provide funds to states and territories for acquisition of habitat for endangered and threatened species in support of approved recovery plans. Acquisition of habitat to secure long term protection is often an essential element of a comprehensive recovery effort for a listed species.
  • Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants - These grants provide funds to states and territories to support the development of Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs), through the support of 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; instead, they support acquisitions by the State or local governments that complement actions associated with the HCP.
For more information about these grants in the Southeast Region, contact: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services, Suite 200, 1875 Century Boulevard, Atlanta, Georgia 30345, telephone: 404/679-7132. Information also can be accessed at http://endangered.fws.gov/grants/.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses 540 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

 


For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
visit our home page at http://southeast.fws.gov/ or http://www.fws.gov/.



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Atlanta, GA 30345
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