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http://www.currypilot.com/news/story.cfm?story_no=10168

OREGON GETS MONEY TO RESTORE SALMON HABITAT

Published: February 26, 2005

PORTLAND Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has announced that $2.8 million in fiscal year 2005 funds will help restore and conserve salmon habitat in Oregon and five other states including Alaska, California, Idaho, Maine, and Washington. These funds are part of the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program's (WHIP) Salmon Habitat Restoration Initiative, first announced in March, 2004.

Oregon received nearly $420,000 in additional funding through this initiative.

"These funds will allow NRCS, state agencies, local conservation groups, tribal governments and others to work with landowners to continue restoring the health of critical salmon habitat in Oregon," Bob Graham, state conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Oregon said.

Through this initiative, the NRCS funds projects that restore habitat for salmon. Projects may include providing shade along streams, restoring gravel spawning beds, removing barriers to fish passages and reducing agricultural runoff. Maintaining healthy watersheds will ensure long-term salmon survival.

Including the additional salmon funding, approximately $600,000 will be available for RFP's through WHIP in Oregon. This year, Oregon is placing a priority on habitat restoration for salmon, sage grouse and other "at risk" species.

In March, Oregon will advertise a Request for Proposals (RFP) on http://fedgrants.gov/ for Fiscal Year 2005 WHIP funds, including the additional Salmon Habitat Restoration Initiative funds. WHIP is a voluntary conservation program that provides technical and financial assistance to landowners and others to develop upland, wetland, riparian and aquatic habitat areas on their property.

Since WHIP began in 1998, more than 18,000 participants have enrolled more than 2.8 million acres into the program nationally. During the first year of the Salmon Habitat Restoration Initiative, NRCS signed 47 contracts and agreements with landowners, tribes and municipalities totaling $3.3 million to improve nearly 900 acres of riparian habitat and to open hundreds of miles of streams for fish passage across the United States.

Additional information on WHIP is at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/whip.

 
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