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Norton Briefs President Bush on Interior Department’s Cooperative Conservation Programs; Announces $25.8 Million in Grants to Assist Conservation Efforts for Imperiled Species on Private Lands


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 25, 2004

Contact:
Hugh Vickery, (202) 501-46336



Interior Secretary Gale Norton briefed President Bush about the department’s on-going efforts to empower Americans to conserve wildlife and its habitat, including $25.8 million in cost-share grants announced today to help private landowners conserve and restore the habitat of endangered species and other at-risk plants and animals.

The grants, part of the administration’s Landowner Incentive Program started last year, will support innovative partnerships in 40 states and the Virgin Islands. 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.

“I was pleased to report to the President that thanks to the unprecedented commitment to cooperative conservation in his budget, the department has been able to empower states, tribes, local communities, private landowners, and others to undertake innovative conservation projects to restore our land and recover its wildlife,” Norton said.

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.

The program is based on the highly successful Texas Landowner Incentive Program developed by then-Governor Bush in 1997 to involve landowners in voluntary efforts to benefit rare species in several Texas counties. The goal of this ongoing state program is to help avoid the listing of at-risk species and assist in the recovery of listed species. Landowners benefit through the continued use of their lands.

Overall, the President’s 2005 budget includes $507.3 million for the Interior Department’s cooperative conservation programs, more than a 43 percent increase for these programs since 2001. Within this total, the President’s budget includes $129.5 million – a 25 percent increase -- for the Cooperative Conservation Initiative. During 2003, CCI’s first year, the initiative funded 256 projects in more than 40 states and Puerto Rico.

“From restoring streams and riparian areas to bringing back natural prairies, we are empowering landowners to undertake conservation projects that they otherwise could not afford while restoring habitat on private lands that are vital to threatened, endangered and other imperiled species,” Norton said. “These funds help Interior extend a hand to work with the nation's many citizen stewards, who often are the nation's most effective conservationists.”

LIP projects involve a variety of conservation activities and management actions. They include removing exotic plants, adapting grazing practices to enhance vital riparian habitat, providing instream or streambank structural improvements to benefit aquatic species, closing roads to protect habitat, and encouraging conservation easements.
“We do our best work for at-risk species when we cooperate with our state, local and private partners,” said Service Director Steve Williams. “Thanks to cost-share funding programs, such as the Landowner Incentive Program, the Service is strengthening and expanding these vital conservation partnerships across the United States.”

Examples of the types of activities supported by Landowner Incentive Program grants include the following:

  • In California, a $1.3 million grant to help landowners in the Sacramento Valley, Delta/Suisun Marsh and San Joaquin Basin to manage 1,130 acres of riparian habitat for a three-year period and 1,000 acres of native grasslands for a four-year period until these habitats are self-sustaining. Landowners will also manage 950 acres of critical, permanent wetlands to meet the needs of at-risk wetland species and provide an additional 2,500 acres of post-harvest flooded cropland directly beneficial to fall migrant shorebirds and breeding waterbirds.
  • In Maine, a $1.3 million grant will support implementation of the state’s ongoing, broad-scale habitat conservation planning effort, Beginning with Habitat. The funds will help landowners conserve habitats to benefit species at risk. It will also allow the state to provide technical and financial assistance to landowners for habitat protection and restoration.
  • In Nevada, a $364,500 grant will help the state establish a program to assist landowners in conserving imperiled species through sagebrush and riparian habitat management, conservation and restoration.

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: www.grants.fws.gov/.


U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
GRANT AWARDS FOR THE LANDOWNER INCENTIVE PROGRAM
JANUARY 2004

STATE

TIER 1

TIER 2

TOTAL

ALABAMA

$180,000

$180,000

ALASKA

$100,000

$100,000

ARIZONA

$180,000

$180,000

ARKANSAS

$38,250

$1,261,750

$1,300,000

CALIFORNIA

$180,000

$1,120,000

$1,300,000

COLORADO

$1,300,000

$1,300,000

CONNECTICUT

$180,000

$848,999

$1,028,999

DELAWARE

$180,000

$900,000

$1,080,000

FLORIDA

$180,000

$180,000

GEORGIA

$180,000

$180,000

HAWAII

$180,000

$1,120,000

$1,300,000

IDAHO

$180,000

$180,000

ILLINOIS

$180,000

$180,000

IOWA

$180,000

$180,000

KANSAS

$180,000

$180,000

KENTUCKY

$862,000

$862,000

LOUISIANA

$180,000

$180,000

MAINE

$180,000

$1,120,000

$1,300,000

MARYLAND

$180,000

$180,000

MASSACHUSETTS

$180,000

$900,000

$1,080,000

MISSISSIPPI

$180,000

$180,000

MISSOURI

$180,000

$180,000

MONTANA

$177,797

$177,797

NEBRASKA

$180,000

$180,000

NEVADA

$364,500

$364,500

NEW HAMPSHIRE

$180,000

$180,000

NEW JERSEY

$180,000

$1,120,000

$1,300,000

NEW MEXICO

$180,000

$1,120,000

$1,300,000

NEW YORK

$180,000

$1,120,000

$1,300,000

NORTH CAROLINA

$180,000

$354,500

$534,500

OKLAHOMA

$180,000

$180,000

OREGON

$180,000

$1,120,000

$1,300,000

PENNSYLVANIA

$180,000

$760,000

$940,000

RHODE ISLAND

$75,000

$75,000

SOUTH DAKOTA

$173,550

$173,550

TENNESSEE

$180,000

$1,120,000

$1,300,000

UTAH

$180,000

$1,120,000

$1,300,000

VERMONT

$180,000

$971,250

$1,151,250

VIRGINIA $180,000 $180,000

WASHINGTON

$180,000

$760,000

$940,000

VIRGIN ISLANDS

$75,000

$75,000
      TOTAL $6,399,597 $19,362,999

$25,762,596


Norton Announces $1,300,000 in Grants to Arkansas to Support Conservation for Imperiled Species on Private Lands

Norton Announces $1,300,000 in Grants to Kentucky to Support Conservation for Imperiled Species on Private Lands

Norton Announces $1,300,000 in Grants to North Carolina to Support Conservation for Imperiled Species on Private Lands

Norton Announces $1,300,000 in Grants to Tennessee to Support Conservation for Imperiled Species on Private Lands


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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