for Proposals -- Grants to States for Endangered Species Conservation
February 11, 2004
Patricia Fisher, 202-208-1459
Don Morgan, 703-358-2106
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. Congress has appropriated $71million
for fiscal year 2004 to support grants awarded under the
Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund.
“These grant programs
are important not only because they fund projects that protect irreplaceable
habitat for threatened and endangered species, but also because they
are the building blocks for ensuring strong conservation partnerships
among states, territories, private organizations, landowners and the
Service,” said Service Director Steve Williams.
As authorized under the
Endangered Species Act, these grants are available 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 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 in summer 2004.
The Service is seeking proposals
for the following three grant categories under the Cooperative Endangered
Species Conservation Fund:
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.
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.
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.
Some examples from the fiscal
year 2003 program of how these grants are making a difference include:
- Along the Clinch River in
Hancock County, Tennessee, a significant portion of the yles Ford shoal,
which harbors the most diverse mussel community in Tennessee, is being
acquired and protected with funding provided through a Recovery Land
Acquisition grant. The Clinch River is one of the last major strongholds
of Cumberlandian mussel fauna, and the Kyles Ford mussel shoal has been
identified as the most biologically diverse mussel habitat on Earth;
at least 10 federally-listed mussel species occur on the shoal.
Land Acquisition grant is providing funds to the North Dakota Game
and Fish Dept, American Foundation for Wildlife, The Conservation
Fund, and the North Dakota Natural Resources Trust to acquire approximately
1,387 acres at the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers
to protect and enhance habitat for the federally- endangered pallid
sturgeon. This land shelters the last stronghold and best remaining
habitat for the pallid sturgeon and supports several imperiled fish
species. It has one of the strongest populations of paddlefish as
well as healthy populations of imperiled sicklefin and sturgeon chub.
The acquisition will also provide improved management opportunities
for the federally-listed least tern and piping plover.
Conservation Plan Land Acquisition grant in Riverside County, California,
will benefit more than 100 federal- and State-listed wildlife species
by supporting efforts to conserve habitat in large, interconnected
blocks. These species include the federally-threatened coastal California
gnatcatcher and the federally endangered least Bell’s vireo
and Stephen’s kangaroo rat. The plant communities found in the
area, including sage scrub and riparian habitat, are representative
of the original, native habitats of the region. The additional public
benefits of maintaining these areas as open space include various
recreational purposes such as hiking and mountain biking.
County, Indiana, a Habitat Conservation Land Acquisition grant will
support the acquisition of a 293-acre parcel that is home to Coon
and Grotto caves. These caves provide winter shelter for hibernating
endangered Indiana bats. Since 1985, when winter disturbances to the
caves were removed, the winter population of Indiana bats has increased
steadily to more than 20,000 in the two caves combined. This acquisition
will not only protect the critical winter habitat, but also ensure
protection for fall swarming, spring staging, and summer foraging
for Indiana bats. Other known state-listed species to benefit through
this acquisition include the bobcat, a cave crayfish, and two cave
help of a Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance grant, the Altar
Valley Conservation Alliance, in Pima County, Arizona, will develop
a watershed-wide habitat protection and restoration plan in cooperation
with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Arizona State Land
Department, and Arizona Department of Water Resources. Altar Valley
harbors one of the last intact Sonoran savanna grasslands in southern
Arizona, as well as riparian and Madrean oak woodland habitats, and
is home to 24 species of concern, including five federally-listed
species. The Altar Valley provides habitat for the cactus ferruginous
pygmy owl and is important for the recovery of Pima pineapple cactus.
It is the largest unfragmented landscape in eastern Pima County, encompassing
approximately 700,000 acres on the US/Mexico border.
- A Habitat Conservation Planning
Assistance grant will help fund the development of an Habitat Conservation
Plan in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, to benefit the federally-endangered
West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel and federally-threatened Cheat
Mountain Salamander. The project will determine the presence or absence
of the West Virginia northern flying squirrel along the western slope
of Cheat Mountain; develop a habitat quality ranking and define the
breeding season for West Virginia northern flying squirrels; survey
for the Cheat Mountain salamander in areas covered by the focused Habitat
Conservation Plan; and use satellite imagery to identify squirrel and
The Cooperative Endangered
Species Conservation Fund appears as number 15.615 in the Catalog of
Federal Domestic Assistance. For more information about these grants
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
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.