|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
May 24, 2004
Contact: Hugh Vickery, 202-501-4633
Secretary Norton Announces $1 Million in Grants
Interior Secretary Gale Norton today announced $1 million in challenge cost-share grants to support 20 cooperative conservation projects in Colorado, from restoring wetlands to restoring native prairie.
“The goal of the Cooperative Conservation Initiative is to empower federal land managers to form partnerships within local communities to better care for the land and its wildlife,” Norton said. “By promoting these partnerships, we not only leverage federal conservation dollars with private funds but also tap into the ingenuity and local knowledge of the people who live and work on the land.”
A state-by-state breakout of the grants announced by Norton today is available on the Interior Department Web site, www.doi.gov.
Partners will contribute $1.5 million in matching contributions to the 20 Colorado projects, bringing the total for the state to $2.5 million.
For example, the Bureau of Land Management is awarding a grant of $7,000 to eliminate cheatgrass intrusions in sage grouse habitat and replant native grasses. The Colorado Division of Wildlife, Mule Deer Foundation, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society, and Albertson Ranch are contributing $36,000 to the project.
Overall, the department has awarded nearly $34 million in grants over the past two years to help more than 1,500 partners complete 633 projects. These projects have conserved, restored or enhanced more than 700,000 acres of wildlife habitat.
The Cooperative Conservation Initiative challenge cost-share grants are part of an overall commitment by the Bush administration to support cooperative conservation efforts. Over the past three years, the Interior Department has provided more than $1.3 billion in grants to states, tribes, local governments and private landowners.
The President is proposing to build on this success in his Fiscal Year 2005 budget, which includes more than $507 million to support Interior’s cooperative conservation programs.
“The power of partnership produces results for conservation that far exceed the dollars we put into these partnerships,” Norton said. “By empowering citizens, we are tapping into the greatest conservation resource we have – the American people themselves – and helping them to become citizen-conservationists.”
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