Secretary Jewell, Director Ashe Announce $35 Million in Grants to Boost State Endangered Species Conservation Efforts
For Immediate Release
September 15, 2014
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced nearly $35 million in grants to 20 states to enable collaborative efforts to conserve many of America’s imperiled species, ranging from the red cockaded woodpecker in the Southeast to a variety of bat species in the Midwest to a colorful flower in the Rocky Mountains. A list of the projects by state is available here.
“Partnerships are critical to ensuring future generations will be able to see threatened and endangered species in the wild rather than simply in a history book,” Jewell said. “These grants will enable states to work in voluntary partnership with private landowners and a wide variety of other stakeholders to preserve vital habitat and move these species down the road to recovery.”
Issued through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (authorized by Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act), the competitive grants allow states to work with private landowners, conservation groups and other government agencies to initiate conservation planning efforts and acquire and protect habitat that benefits threatened and endangered fish, wildlife and plants.
“Private landowners and natural resource managers are the linchpin for the conservation of many of our most threatened species,” Ashe said. “By fostering partnerships between federal, state and local governments, private organizations, and individuals, we can pool our resources to develop creative solutions that will drive critical conservation and recovery efforts. These grants are one of many tools available under the Endangered Species Act and we look forward to providing continued guidance and support for these programs.”
The grant funding is provided through programs established to help advance creative partnerships for the recovery of imperiled species. This year, the fund will allocate approximately $7.4 million in grants through the Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants Program; nearly $18 million through the Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition Grants Program, and $9.5 million through the Recovery Land Acquisition Grants Program.
“We can wait for fish and wildlife species to decline to the point where we can’t do anything but react with expensive, last-ditch efforts, or we can take proactive steps to conserve wildlife and their habitats before it is too late,” said Dan Forster, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division. “These grants will enable state fish and wildlife agencies to carry out important on-the-ground conservation actions with our partners to advance the stewardship of our nation’s fish and wildlife resources.”