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 PRESS RELEASE: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 9/27/05
Grants to Benefit Endangered Species in the Pacific Region Total $17 Million

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced $17 million in grants in
the agency’s Pacific Region to support conservation planning and
acquisition of vital habitat for threatened and endangered fish, wildlife
and plants. The grants, awarded through the Cooperative Endangered Species
Conservation Fund, are among $70.5 million awarded nationally to benefit
species throughout the United States ranging from mussels to bull trout.

“Recovery of threatened and endangered species cannot be accomplished
without the active support of private landowners,” said Dave Allen,
director of the Service’s Pacific Region. “These grants will enable our
State partners to work cooperatively with landowners, communities, and
Tribes to restore and protect habitat and undertake other management
actions that will benefit dozens of imperiled species across the nation.”

The Pacific Region states of Oregon, Washington and Hawaii received a large
share of the grants, with projects in Washington receiving $14.5 million,
projects in Hawaii receiving $2.6 million and one project in Oregon
receiving $446,000.

Authorized by Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act, the grants enable
States to work with private landowners, conservation groups and other
agencies to initiate conservation planning efforts and acquire and protect
habitat to support the conservation of threatened and endangered species.

Nationwide, the cooperative endangered species fund this year provides $8.5
million through the Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants
Program; $48.6 million through the Habitat Conservation Plan Land
Acquisition Grants Program; and $13.4 million through the Recovery Land
Acquisition Grants Program.  The three programs were established to help
reduce potential conflicts between the conservation of threatened and
endangered species and land development and use.

Under the Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition Program, the Service
provides grants to States or Territories for land acquisitions associated
with approved Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs). These HCPs, which are
agreements between a landowner and the Service, allow a landowner to
incidentally take threatened or endangered species in the course of
otherwise lawful activities when that landowner agrees to conservation
measures designed to minimize and mitigate the impact of taking. HCPs may
also be developed by a county or state to cover certain activities of all
landowners within their own jurisdiction; it may address multiple species.
There are more than 469 HCPs currently in effect covering 588 separate
species on approximately 40 million acres. The grants are targeted to help
landowners who want to undertake proactive conservation work on their lands
to conserve imperiled species.

The Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Program provides grants to
States and Territories to support the development of Habitat Conservation
Plans, through funding of baseline surveys and inventories, document
preparation, outreach, and similar planning activities. The Recovery Land
Acquisition Grants Program provides funds to states and territories to
acquire habitat for endangered and threatened species in approved recovery
plans. Acquisition of habitat to secure long term protection is often an
essential element of a comprehensive recovery effort for a listed species.

For a complete list of the 2005 grant awards for these programs (Catalog of
Federal Domestic Assistance Number 15.615), see the Service’s Endangered
Species Grants home page at


Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition Grants in Washington:

Plum Creek Central Cascades HCP  - Kittitas, Okanogan, and Yakima Counties,
WA    $7,417,805
This grant will provide funding to purchase habitat to support the Plum
Creek Central Cascades Habitat Conservation Plan. In Yakima County,
permanent habitat protection will be provided for bird, mammal, amphibian,
and fish species on approximately 7,000 acres of contiguous mature
ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, and riparian habitats in the Tieton River
Canyon. In Kittitas County, this funding will purchase and permanently
protect 297 acres of forested hillside on Amabilis Mountain and adjacent
areas that flow into Swamp Lake within the Yakima River Watershed.
Protection of these lands would protect the north/south wildlife corridor
that runs between Keechelus and Kachess Lakes and provide habitat for
marbled murrelet, spotted owl, and numerous terrestrial species. And in
Okanogan County, this grant will acquire 600 acres securing more than 6,000
acres and 10 miles of stream frontage to protect mature conifer and
riparian habitat corridors for 40 priority species including spotted owls,
grizzly bears, gray wolves, lynx, bull trout, and salmon in the Methow
River Watershed.

Cedar River HCP, Phase 3  - King County, WA
This land acquisition will protect and restore up to 100 acres of habitat
in the lower Cedar River ecosystem and improve habitat connectivity to
areas beyond the Cedar River watershed to benefit species covered under the
Cedar River HCP. It will create a more contiguous protected area that
greatly improves the physical connection between habitats of the lower
river valley and upper watershed. Bald eagles, bull trout, listed salmon,
and unlisted species will benefit.

Washington DNR HCP  - Jefferson, WA
These funds will be used to protect 1,176 acres of riparian and upland
forest habitat which will contribute to the larger Hoh River Conservation
Corridor. The project will conserve habitat for marbled murrelets, bull
trout, northern spotted owls, and bald eagles in the lower Hoh River

Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants in Oregon and Washington:

Elliott State Forest HCP  - Coos and Douglas County, OR
The Habitat Conservation Plan being developed by Oregon Department of
Forestry for the 93,000-acre Elliott State Forest will contribute to the
conservation of the marbled murrelet, northern spotted owl, bald eagle, and
coastal coho salmon and numerous unlisted species. The conservation
strategies developed for this Habitat Conservation Plan are intended to
improve habitat for these species through time by combining two approaches
to protecting species through sustainable forest ecosystem management and a
set of specific strategies for covered species.

Washington State Hydraulic Project Approval HCP  - Statewide, WA  $660,000
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will initiate the
habitat conservation planning process for the state’s primary
fish-protection regulatory program, the Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA)
program.  WDFW is seeking a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) as a means of
continuing conservation of fish and shellfish species and habitat,
consistent with earlier conservation plans such as “Forest and Fish”, while
achieving long-term certainty that the HPA Program meets federal
species-protection requirements.  Development of the HCP would entail a
five-year process, including significant public involvement.

Washington Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Resources HCP -
Statewide, WA     $813,500
Washington Department of Natural Resources manages more than 2.4 million
acres of submerged land in marine, estuarine and freshwater habitats. This
grant will support the planning process to develop a multi-species
programmatic Habitat Conservation Plan to ensure authorized activities on
state-owned aquatic lands promote sustainable ecosystems, minimize
cumulative impacts and increase protection, conservation, and recovery
efforts for approximately 86 species proposed to be covered under the
Habitat Conservation Plan.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Wildlife Area HCP  -
Statewide, WA     $544,555
WDFW will initiate the habitat conservation planning process for its land
management program.  As a long-term multi-species Habitat Conservation Plan
(HCP) for the conservation of endangered and threatened species on 830,000
acres of WDFW-owned and managed wildlife areas, an HCP offers benefits to
protected species and land users by providing certainty that land
management activities meet federal species-protection requirements.
Development of the HCP would entail a multi-year process, including
significant public involvement.

Family Forest HCP for Lewis County  - Lewis County, WA            $525,000
This Habitat Conservation Plan is a first of its kind effort to address the
needs of endangered species, family forest landowners, and regulatory
agencies. This final phase of funding will complete the planning process
which will provide landowners and agencies with a programmatic approach to
HCP implementation while providing critical aquatic and upland habitat
needs for threatened, endangered, and species of concern on family forest
land in Lewis County.

Recovery Land Acquisition Grants:


Nelson Creek Property Acquisition  - Wahkiakum County, WA         $651,533
The acquisition of this 180-acre parcel will enhance the recovery of the
endangered Columbia white-tailed deer by providing secure foraging,
resting, and breeding habitat adjacent to the Julia Butler Hansen Columbian
White-Tailed Deer National Wildlife Refuge. Many other species will benefit
from preservation of the habitat including bald eagles, songbirds, Canada
geese, ducks, mink, river otter, and amphibians.


Moanalua Valley Watershed Protection Project  - Honolulu County, HI
Funding will help acquire 3,714 acres of the best remaining native forest
on Oahu. It is home to 14 federally listed or candidate endangered plant
species, three listed birds and three listed or candidate invertebrates.
These lands will be added to existing State owned conservation lands in the
Ko’olau Mountains and be administered by the State Department of Land and
Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

Manuka Natural Area Reserve  - Hawaii County, HI                  $78,750
This grant will fund acquisition of a 1-acre parcel located near the center
of the Manuka Natural Area Reserve (NAR), established to protect in
perpetuity a diverse range of natural communities including dry and mesic
forests, subalpine shrublands and forests, lowland and coastal shrublands
and grasslands, anchialine pools, pioneer vegetation on lava flows and lava
tubes. These communities provide habitat for native plants and animals
including the endangered Hawaiian hawk, Hawaiian hoary bat, and an
endangered fern Diellia erecta. The parcel will be added to the NAR and
managed in conjunction with the surrounding area for native species

Carlsmith Trust Property  - Hawaii County, HI
Funding will acquire a 1,336-acre parcel located between 2,400 and 3,800
feet elevation on the wet windward side of Mauna Loa. The property is
directly adjacent to the Waiakea Forest reserve and the parcel contains
native lowland wet forest. To date, no formal biological surveys have been
conducted on this property but the surrounding area provides habitat for
the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat and Hawaiian hawk along with other
globally rare species. Due to its remote nature and pristine condition
these species are likely present on the property as well.

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, 63 fishery resource 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 Aid program
that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing
and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.



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