Kempthorne Announces Funding for Wetlands Projects, Additions to
National Wildlife Refuges
At its June 14, 2006 meeting,
the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission approved important additions
to the National Wildlife Refuge System through the Migratory Bird Conservation
Fund, as well as 54 conservation projects under the North American
Wetlands Conservation Act’s Standard and
Small Grants Program to help conserve migratory bird populations and
The Commission approved more than $1.3 million to acquire 291 acres of wetlands and associated upland habitats for the National Wildlife Refuge System in Oregon, Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, and California. Funding for these acquisitions comes primarily from the purchase of Federal Duck Stamps by hunters and other conservationists.
New National Wildlife Refuge System acquisitions and easements, all previously approved by the respective states, include:
Refuge land acquisitions are funded by Duck Stamp sales and from import duties collected on arms and ammunition, right-of-way payments to the refuge system and receipts from National Wildlife Refuge entrance fees. Since its inception in 1934, the Federal duck stamp program has generated more than $700 million. That has been used to acquire more than 5.2 million acres for the refuge system.
The Commission also approved
more than $17.8 million to fund seven wetland-habitat conservation
projects in Canada under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act’s
Standard Grants Program, based on recommendations made by the North
American Wetlands Conservation Council. Canadian partners are contributing
$24.5 million towards these projects, which will conserve more than
87,000 acres of migratory bird habitat. For brief project descriptions,
To date, more than 3,150 partners have been involved in 1,556 wetlands conservation projects under the Act’s Standard and Small Grants Programs combined. Projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico focus on long-term protection, restoration, or enhancement of important wetland habitats. In Mexico, partners may also develop training, management, and environmental education programs and conduct studies on sustainable use. In total, more than $742 million in Act grants have been invested in the three countries, and partner contributions have topped $2.1 billion. Approximately 23 million acres of wetlands and associated uplands have been conserved under the Act. For general information about the Act, visit http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NAWCA/index.shtm.
The Cabinet-level Commission, which has final funding authority for National Wildlife Refuge System additions and for North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants, is comprised of Secretary Kempthorne, Senators Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Representatives John Dingell of Michigan and Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.
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 resource 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 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.
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://www.fws.gov/southeast/news. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/. Atlanta, GA 30345, Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286