Funding to 13 states will support land acquisition projects under Endangered Species Act grant programs; will leverage additional $49 million in partner funds
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today announced nearly $79.2 million in grants to help conserve and permanently protect nearly 56,000 acres of habitat for 55 listed and at-risk species across 13 states through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (CESCF). The grants will be matched by over $49.3 million in partner funds.
“Using science as our guide, the Biden-Harris administration’s America the Beautiful initiative is about pursuing a collaborative and inclusive approach to conservation. The significant funding announced today furthers our promise to conserve and restore America’s lands and waters for the benefit of all,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “I applaud the Service’s continued effort to work hand-in-hand with states and private landowners to improve habitat and connectivity.”
Authorized by Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, CESCF grants contribute millions annually to support implementing state and territorial programs to conserve and recover federally listed and at-risk species on non-federal lands. This approach to conservation, done in cooperation with states, willing landowners and local partners, furthers species conservation and economic development.
CESCF land acquisition funding to states is awarded through two nationally competitive grant programs: the Recovery Land Acquisition Grant Program, which provides funds for the acquisition of habitat in support of Service-approved recovery plans; and the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) Land Acquisition Grant Program, which provides funds to acquire habitat for listed and at-risk species to complement conservation strategies of approved HCPs.
Examples of projects approved this year include:
Earlier this year, the Service also approved approximately $8.2 million in grant awards in support of HCP planning efforts across 17 states under the HCP Planning Assistance Grant Program. Funding awarded through this program may be used to support the development, renewal or amendment of HCPs. Eligible activities include document preparation, public outreach, baseline species surveys, habitat assessments, inventories and environmental compliance.
The ESA provides a critical safety net for North America’s native fish, wildlife and plants. The Service is working to actively engage conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. To learn more, visit www.fws.gov/endangered.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
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