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PRESS RELEASE: FWS
Secretary Norton Announces Funding to States To Prevent Wildlife from Becoming Endangered
FOLLOWED BY: Secretary Norton Announces Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Apportionments to States; Both Accounts Pass $5 Billion Mark
Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton announced today that the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service will award $60 million in wildlife grants to state and
territorial wildlife agencies. The State Wildlife Grant program is designed
to assist states in the development and implementation of programs that
benefit wildlife and their habitats. The funds are made available through
"States have vast experience with and knowledge of conservation issues
within their borders. The grant program taps into this expertise and
demonstrates our commitment to conservation partnerships with state
wildlife agencies," said Secretary Norton. "This program exemplifies our
approach by helping states to tailor their conservation efforts in a manner
that best fits local conditions."
To be eligible for State Wildlife Grant funds, each state completed a
Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan or Strategy. The state plans were
created in a collaborative effort that included biologists,
conservationists, landowners, sportsmen, and the general public. The plans
were reviewed by a national team that included the Fish and Wildlife
Service and directors from state wildlife agencies.
“The bottom line is that we use a strong pro-active approach in
constructing our state wildlife action plans to ensure the health and
survival of all wildlife,” says John Cooper, president of the International
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “It has resulted in closer
working relationships with other conservation agencies and organization
within our states. Never has such a comprehensive set of plans been
constructed with so much input.”
The comprehensive state plans have specific actions in them. For example,
Alabama will use some of the grant money to establish a facility dedicated
to breeding the state’s fish, mussel, snail and crayfish species of highest
conservation need. Alabama hopes to reintroduce species back to their
historic habitats in the future.
“The plans describe what species and habitats are declining but not yet
necessarily endangered,” continued Norton. “By using this information we
can act now before it’s too late. The Administration is excited about this
historic milestone because it represents our best chance for broad scale
cost-effective conservation. This sentiment is shared widely by others in
the conservation community.”
A state may receive no more than 5 percent or less than 1 percent of the
available funds. The District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto
Rico each receives 0.5 percent and Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin
Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands each receives
0.25 percent. The apportionment is based on a formula that uses the
state’s land area and population.
Under legislation signed by President Bush in 2001, states and territories
so far have received $317 million in grants for conservation efforts.
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number for the State Wildlife
Grants is 15.634.
To learn more about a particular state's plan, please see
http://www.teaming.com/wildlife_state.htm. To see a state-by-state funding
table, please see http://federalaid.fws.gov.
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.
Announces Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:15 AM Pacific
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