and Wildlife Service Announces Private Stewardship Grants to
Landowners for Endangered Species
Valerie Fellows, 202-208-5634
Tom Mackenzie, 404-679-7291
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne today announced grants totaling more
than $7.2 million will go to private landowners and groups in 36 states
for conservation projects to benefit endangered, threatened and other
at-risk species through the Private Stewardship Grants Program. This
year’s grants will benefit native species ranging from the Santa
Catalina Island fox in California to the Nashville crayfish in Tennessee.
“Our conservation goals for fish and wildlife can only be achieved
with the help of private citizens and landowners,” said Secretary
Kempthorne. “These grants are one of the most important tools we
have to protect this country’s threatened and endangered species.”
Administered by the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), each of
the 80 grants requires at least a 10 percent match in non-federal dollars
or in-kind contributions.
Now in its fifth year, the Private Stewardship Grants
federal grants on a competitive basis to individuals and groups engaged
in voluntary conservation efforts on private lands that benefit federally
listed endangered or threatened species, candidate species or other
at-risk species. Under this program, private landowners as well as
groups working with private landowners submit proposals directly to
the Service for funding to support these efforts.
Last year, 80 grants totaling $6.9 million were awarded
to private individuals and groups in 35 states. In the first four years
program, 362 grants totaling approximately $29 million were awarded to
private landowners across the country.
“We are seeing tremendous benefits to wildlife by partnering with
private landowners,” said H. Dale Hall, Director of the Fish and
Wildlife Service. “Each year, these private stewardship grants
pay dividends in the effort to preserve imperiled species and their habitats.
It is heartening to see how much progress we can make when we work together.”
Examples of the Private Stewardship Grant projects selected for funding
in 2007 include the following:
ALABAMA / MISSISSIPPI / LOUISIANA
Pine Ecosystem Restoration ($150,000) - This project, submitted by the
Mississippi Fish and Wildlife Foundation, American Forest Foundation
and Environmental Defense, will improve habitat for declining species
dependent on fire-maintained southern pine communities in Alabama,
Louisiana, and Mississippi. This grant will build on earlier successful
projects that resulted in the restoration of 3,335 acres on 24 sites.
Restoration activities, including planting longleaf pine, will be performed
on 1,088 acres of family forest properties. The threatened gopher tortoise,
endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, and the black pine snake and ten
other species of concern will benefit from this project.
Little Campbell Creek: “It's a Creek, not a Ditch” ($33,600) – TheAnchorage
Waterways Council submitted this proposal to work with local residents
living adjacent to Little Campbell Creek. The grant will help rehabilitate
degraded riparian buffers and restore healthy fish habitat. A creekside
stewardship program will be developed to target willing land-owners
and promote a positive stewardship ethic. The project will provide
technical expertise, materials and volunteer labor to assist landowners
in modifying their land use practices or physical features of their
property to enhance protection of the creek and restore vital fish
habitat. Species of concern that will benefit include the chinook,
coho and sockeye salmon, the Cook Inlet population of beluga whale;
rusty blackbird; and a mayfly species found only in Alaska.
Mattole River Eastern Sub-basin Aquatic Habitat Restoration
Project ($95,000) – This
project, submitted by the Mattole Restoration Council, ill replace
three undersized culverts on private lands near Wolf, Buck, and Deer
Lick creeks in northern California to allow for full fish passage and
reduction of sediment loads into the creeks. The project will benefit
three federally threatened fish: Chinook salmon, coho salmon, and
steelhead. It will also benefit rare species such as Pacific lamprey,
foothill yellow-legged frog, northern red-legged frog, tailed frog,
and southern torrent salamander.
Restoration and Enhancement of Tallgrass Prairies
in Sandstone Prairie Landscape ($94,462) – The Northern Prairies
Land Trust will improve tallgrass prairie habitat in Jefferson and
Thayer counties in Kansas, and Washington and Republic counties in
Nebraska to benefit the endangered American burying beetle, the threatened
western prairie fringed orchid, and numerous grassland bird species.
The project was submitted by the Northern Prairies Land Trust and involves
clearing invasive woody vegetation from native prairie, administering
prescribed burning, and implementing planned grazing systems.
Reforestation and Wetland Restoration for Permanent
Native Habitat in St. Joseph River Watershed ($45,000) – The St.
Joseph River Watershed Initiative Partnership will protect, restore
and enhance wetland and forest habitat in the St. Joseph River watershed
in Hillsdale County, Michigan; Defiance and Williams counties, Ohio;
and Allen, Dekalb, and Noble counties, Indiana. The project will benefit
the Copperbelly water snake, Indiana bat, clubshell, white cat's pearlymussel,
Northern riffleshell, and the Eastern massasauga rattlesnake, as well
as 5 other at-risk species. The initiative has identified at least
14 landowners where nearly 140 acres of reforestation will occur to
connect wetland corridor habitat for these species.
Protection, Management, and Monitoring Cave Habitat
for the Ozark Big-eared Bat ($9,000) – Rogers State University
initiated this project which will provide specific management for protection
of the Ozark big-eared bat and other rare cave fauna at a single cave
in Adair County, Oklahoma; implement management and protection at one
of three potential caves in Adair County, Oklahoma and monitor the
cave, gate/grill system and bat populations to evaluate continued occupancy
by the Ozark big-eared bat.
Enhancing Habitat in a Priority Stream ($21,500) – This
grant will assist the landowner with a riparian restoration project
along Copper Creek, in the Clinch River watershed in Scott County,
Virginia. The goal of the restoration project is to improve stream
quality and restore habitat for two endangered species, the purple
bean and yellowfin madtom, as well as indirectly benefit several other
listed species. The area being protected includes approximately 5,000
feet of stream bank and 9 acres of riparian area. The project application
was submitted by Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District
and a private landowner.
Wolf Haven Prairie Restoration ($74,000) – The Nature Conservancy
submitted the project which will restore high-quality prairie habitat
in Thurston County, Washington. Improved habitat quality will provide
opportunities for the enhancement, colonization, or introduction of six
at-risk animal species including Mazama pocket gopher, Mardon skipper,
and Taylor’s checkerspot (all federal candidate speces). In addition,
the federally threatened golden paintbrush will be re-introduced at the
site. Golden paintbrush reintroduction will follow the guidelines outlined
in the “Recovery Plan for Golden Paintbrush.”
Auwahi III Dryland Forest Ecosystem Restoration ($280,500) – The
objective of this project is the construction of an ungulate-proof fence
protecting 190 acres of Auwahi forest on privately-owned ‘Ulupalakua
Ranch in Maui County, Hawaii. This project was submitted by the Tri-Isle
Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. and builds on the
success of previous Auwahi restoration projects by protecting one of
the richest and most endangered of Hawaiian ecosystems. The species which
will benefit include the Blackburn’s sphinx moth and eight federally
listed and two candidate plants.
In the Southeast Region, projects in Alabama, Arkansas,
Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi were selected
for funding. The nationwide list of projects selected for funding under
the Private Stewardship Grants Program may be accessed at
http://endangered.fws.gov/grants/private_stewardship.html. The Catalog
of Federal Domestic Assistance number for this grant program is 15-632.
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 547 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
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.