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Acting Secretary Scarlett Announces $8 Million in Grants to Tribes to Help Conserve Fish and Wildlife

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2006

Contacts:
Patrick Durham, (202) 208-4133


Acting Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett today announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is awarding nearly $8 million to help federally recognized Indian Tribes conserve fish and wildlife on their lands. The Service is awarding the grants under two programs: the Tribal Landowner Incentive Program and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program. The Tribal Landowner Incentive Program supports federally recognized Indian tribes to protect, restore, and manage habitat for species at risk, including federally listed endangered or threatened species, as well as proposed or candidate species on tribal lands. The Service is providing over $2 million to help fund 15 Tribal Landowner Incentive projects.

About $6 million will help fund 28 projects under the Tribal Wildlife Grants program. These grants are awarded to federally recognized Indian tribes to benefit fish, wildlife and their habitat, including species that are not hunted or fished.

“These grants help Tribes preserve and restore fish and wildlife resources that are important to their culture and heritage,” said Acting Secretary Scarlett . “These programs also encourage mutually beneficial partnerships between tribal and Federal natural resource management agencies and help ensure a brighter future for fish, wildlife and their habitat on tribal lands.”

Since 2003, the Service has put more than $38 million to work for tribal conservation efforts through the two grant programs.

Indian tribes have a controlling interest in more than 52 million acres of tribal trust lands and an additional 40 million acres held by Alaska Native corporations. Much of this land is relatively undisturbed, providing a significant amount of rare and important fish and wildlife habitat.

“The Service’s Tribal Landowner Incentive and Wildlife Grant programs provide financial resources and encourage cooperation while supporting the authority of the Tribes to manage their resources,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall. “The flexibility of the programs allows the Tribes great latitude in funding natural resource management actions that are driven by their conservation priorities.”

Among the funded Tribal Landowner Incentive Program grants are the following awards:

  • The Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho will receive $141,108 to support basic research on pollination and herbivore impacts on the three rare plant species, Jessica’s aster, Palouse goldenweed, and the listed Spalding’s catchfly.
  • Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation in South Dakota will receive $141,171 to implement their Comprehensive Fish and Wildlife Management Plan and specifically to increase mallard and teal production within their reservation.
  • The Stillaquamish Tribe in Washington will receive $117,000 to enhance and expand salmon spawning areas along the North Fork of the Stillaquamish River.
  • The Pueblo of Santo Domingo will receive $148,348 for removal of invasive salt cedar and Russian olive trees and planting of native vegetation to improve habitat.

Examples of funded Tribal Wildlife Grants include:

  • The Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma will receive $249,997 for the reintroduction of the Oklahoma endangered mussel, the Neosho mucket, into the Spring and Neosho Rivers, and research into the artificial propagation of a Federally threatened fish, the Neosho madtom.
  • Chevak Native Village of Alaska will receive $239,883 to collect data on natural resource assets and develop a Coastal Land Conservation and Protection Plan for tribal coastal lands bordering the Bering Sea
  • The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin will receive $196,782 to conduct research on black bear populations and habitat, and to study sturgeon and timber wolf reintroduction.
  • The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) of Massachusetts will receive $145,040 to purchase critical equipment (Larval Identification d Hydrographic Data Telemetry instrument) for their Bay Scallop Enhancement Program.

The Tribal Landowner Incentive Program supports federally recognized Indian tribes to protect, restore, and manage habitat to benefit species at-risk, including federally listed endangered or threatened species, as well as proposed or candidate species on tribal lands. The Service has approximately $2.05 million available for this program. These grants represent 15 tribes in 12 states.

A $150,000 Tribal Landowner Incentive grant was awarded in the Southeast to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina for natural resource surveys on the lands of the Cherokee Indian Reservation.

The Tribal Wildlife Grant Program supports federally recognized Indian tribes to develop and implement programs that benefit wildlife and their habitat, including non-game species on tribal lands. The Service has approximately $5.63 million available for this program. These grants represent 26 tribes in 16 states.

Two tribal wildlife grants were awarded in the Southeast. One $250,000 grant to the Seminole Tribe of Florida to implement its wildlife management plan, and a $250,000 grant was awarded to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for wildlife resource studies.

For a complete list of national grant awards, visit the Service’s home page at http://news.fws.gov/NewsReleases/

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 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 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 and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which 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://www.fws.gov/southeast or http://www.fws.gov/.



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