|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
August 7, 2006
Contact: Valerie Fellows, 202/208-5634
State Wildlife Agencies Receive Grants to Work With Landowners to Conserve At-risk Species
The Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Department will receive $180,000
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced nearly $19 million in competitive funding for 37 States and Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands fish and wildlife agencies under the Bush Administration's innovative Landowner Incentive Program (LIP). The program supports cooperative efforts with private landowners interested in conserving natural habitat for species at risk, including Federally listed endangered or threatened species and proposed or candidate species.
"Conservation, especially conservation of imperiled species, must be a partnership between the American people and their government," said Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne. "By providing these grants, we empower citizens to restore habitat on their land and take other steps to protect and recover endangered, threatened and at-risk species."
LIP, funded through competitive grants with money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, establishes or supplements existing landowner incentive programs that provide technical or financial assistance to private landowners. All grants need to be matched by at least 25 percent from a non-Federal source.
Landowners interested in participating in LIP should contact their State fish and wildlife agency. For more information about the grant programs, please visit http://federalaid.fws.gov/lip/lip.html. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance reference number is 15.633.
A brief summary of the projects in the Mountain-Prairie Region follows (for the complete list, please visit the Service’s web site at http://www.fws.gov):
The Colorado Division of Wildlife will receive nearly $946,000 and match $945,760 to provide financial support for private landowner projects to protect and manage wildlife habitat on private lands for species-at-risk. The LIP program focus areas will include the Gunnison Basin, Front Range Riparian Corridors, and short-grass prairie in the central and southeastern portion of the state. Conservation easements and habitat restoration work will be pursued to benefit species-at-risk that include Gunnison sage grouse, Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, mountain plover, burrowing owl, Ferruginous hawk, greater sage grouse, lesser prairie chicken and other associated shortgrass prairie species.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks will receive $680,000 and match $226,000 to provide private landowners with technical support to implement projects in the Shortgrass Prairie Conservation Region and the Central Mixed Grass Prairie Conservation Region identified in their Wildlife Action Plan. At-risk-species to benefit from habitat enhancement and restoration work include lesser prairie chicken, black-tailed prairie dog, Ferruginous hawk, northern pintail, American avocet, black tern, Cassin’s sparrow, whooping crane, green toad, flathead chub, Arkansas darter, and Topeka shiner.
The Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Department will receive $180,000 and match $60,000 to identify priority habitat restoration needs for sagebrush grassland and Big Hole habitats and then to provide technical assistance, outreach, and coordination to landowners to help restore and protect those habitats on their lands.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will receive $945,000 and match $501,250 to implement projects on biologically unique landscapes identified in their Legacy Plan that will benefit at-risk species which include Massasauga rattlesnake, Greater prairie chicken, Henslow’s sparrow, regal fritillary butterfly, western prairie fringed orchid, American burying beetle, whooping crane, long-bract green orchid, wild sarsaparilla and Iowa moonwort.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will receive $945,000 and match $1,583,000 to provide private landowners with technical support to benefit at-risk species on private land. Funds will also enable coordination with private landowners to establish on the ground LIP projects. Wyoming will focus on projects throughout the State’s grasslands, sagebrush, and prairie aquatic habitats. At risk species to benefit from habitat enhancement and restoration work include black-tailed prairie dogs, swift fox, burrowing owls, upland sandpipers, greater sage grouse, brewer’s sparrow, sage sparrow, shovelnose sturgeon, flathead chub, plains minnow and silvery minnow.
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.
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