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Secretary Norton Announces $34.8 Million in Grands to Support Habitat Conservation Imperiled Species on Private Lands


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 25, 2003

Contact:
Hugh Vickery, 202-501-4633
Pat Fisher, 202-208-5634


Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton today announced $34.8 million in grants to states under a new partnership program to assist private landowners in conserving and restoring the habitat of endangered species and other at-risk plants and animals. The cost-share grants, part of the administration’s new Landowner Incentive Program, will support innovative partnerships in 42 states. State fish and wildlife agencies, landowners or non-profit groups must put up at least 25 percent of the cost of projects. With these grants, states will be able to provide financial and technical assistance to interested landowners.

“For wildlife conservation to be successful, it must be a partnership between the government and the people,” Norton said. “This is especially true with threatened and endangered species, half of which depend on private lands for the majority of their habitat. These grants will enable states to work with landowners and to defray the costs of habitat improvements for imperiled species on their land.”

The Landowner Incentive Program supports the administration’s overall Cooperative Conservation Initiative, which includes a number of conservation grant programs to assist states, tribes, conservation organizations, private landowners and others in conservation projects and programs. President Bush proposed $113.2 million for the Cooperative Conservation Initiative in his Fiscal Year 2004 budget.

“If conservation is going to be successful in the 21st century, we must empower citizen stewards to conserve and protect natural resources while also achieving important community and economic goals,” Norton said.  “We must provide new and expanded opportunities for landowners, land managers, and others to participate in projects that foster innovation and create incentives for stewardship. The Landowner Incentive Program accomplishes this.”

The LIP grant program is two-tiered.  Grants awarded to states under Tier 1 focus on administrative program needs and may not exceed $180,000 in federal money. U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia may apply for Tier 1 grants of up to $75,000.  Tier 2 grants support project implementation.  All grants require at least a 25 percent match from non-federal sources.

Many states already have a landowner incentive program. For states that currently do not have a landowner program, the grants will allow them to create one. “We are providing seed money to many states to get their landowner programs off the ground,” Norton said.

For example, the Colorado Division of Wildlife plans to use its LIP funds to focus on Front Range habitat for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, for Eastern short-grass prairie habitat for the black-tailed prairie dog and several bird species, and on Gunnison Basin habitat for the Gunnison sage grouse. Colorado will establish management agreements and seek conservation easements with private landowners to protect and restore these habitats.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources will fund a total of 15 landowner projects on 105,140 acres across five islands. More than 60 wildlife species and 248 plant species of concern will benefit from management actions including the creation of barrier fences, the removal of feral pigs and goats from critical habitat areas, the creation of onsite seed sources for endangered plant species, and the operation of a rotational grazing program to benefit the endangered Hawaiian goose (nene).

Tribes also are eligible for an additional $5 million in grants under the program. Further guidance specific to tribes is currently out for public comment, and grants will be announced in the future.

“These grants are the catalysts to support efforts of local partners to come up with new and better ways to conserve at-risk fish and wildlife species,” said FWS Director Steve Williams. “Through this program, the Service is pooling its resources with private landowners and state wildlife agencies to ensure these species have sufficient habitat.”

A state-by-state list for the Landowner Incentive Program grants follows. For more information on the Landowner Incentive Program, please contact:  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Federal Aid, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 140, Arlington, VA 22203; phone (703) 358–2156 or visit the FWS Grants-at- a-Glance web site: http://grants.fws.gov/.



U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
GRANT AWARDS FOR THE LANDOWNER INCENTIVE PROGRAM
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2002

STATE TIER 1 $ TIER 2 $ TOTAL $
Alaska 142,500 1,500,000 1,642,500
Arizona 180,000 1,560,000 1,740,000
Arkansas 158,512   158,512
California 180,000 1,560,000 1,740,000
Colorado   1,740,000 1,740,000
Connecticut 180,000   180,000
Delaware 180,000   180,000
Florida 180,000 840,000 1,020,000
Georgia 180,000   180,000
Hawaii 180,000 1,551,750 1,731,750
Idaho 180,000   180,000
Indiana 180,000   180,000
Iowa 180,000 900,000 1,080,000
Kentucky 180,000 1,315,000 1,495,000
Maine 180,000   180,000
Maryland 180,000   180,000
Massachusetts 180,000 900,000 1,080,000
Michigan 180,000 1,351,718 1,531,718
Minnesota 180,000 1,334,542 1,514,542
Missouri 180,000   180,000
Montana 174,639 1,315,000 1,489,639
Nebraska 180,000 1,560,000 1,740,000
Nevada 180,000   180,000
New Hampshire 180,000   180,000
New Jersey 180,000   180,000
New Mexico 180,000   180,000
New York 180,000   180,000
North Carolina   165,000 165,000
North Dakota 180,000 710,500 890,500
Ohio 180,000   180,000
Oklahoma 180,000 1,315,000 1,495,000
Oregon 180,000 1,533,900 1,713,900
Pennsylvania 180,000 1,315,000 1,495,000
South Carolina 75,000 900,000 975,000
Tennessee 180,000   180,000
Texas   1,465,000 1,465,000
Vermont 180,000   180,000
Virginia 178,593 1,555,500 1,734,093
Washington 180,000 1,560,000 1,740,000
West Virginia 180,000   180,000
Wisconsin 180,000   180,000
Wyoming 180,000   180,000
TOTAL 6,849,244 27,947,910 34,797,154


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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