$85.7 million in grants available to States for Endangered Species Conservation - Agency issues statement about how they are deciding to spend taxpayers' dollars

Press Release from U.S. Fish and Wildlife

April 16, 2002 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking proposals from
states and U.S. territories interested in acquiring land or conducting
conservation planning for endangered species
.  Three innovative grant
programs, totaling $85.7 million, are available to states willing to
purchase land or improve habitat for federally protected species. The
grants are expected to be awarded summer 2002.

"Local involvement is the cornerstone of conservation success," said
Service Director Steve Williams. Through programs such as these, the Service
is building stronger partnerships with the states and finding new ways to
support and work with landowners willing to provide valuable habitat for

The grants will be awarded from the Cooperative Endangered Species
Conservation Fund, authorized under the Endangered Species Act. This fund
provides grants to states and territories to support their participation in a
wide array of voluntary conservation projects for listed species, as well as
for species either proposed or candidates for listing.  By law, the state or
territory must contribute 25% of the estimated program costs of approved
projects, or 10% when two or more states or territories undertake a joint

The three grant programs are:

Recovery Land Acquisition Grants ($17.8 million) -  These grants provide
funds to states and territories for acquisition of habitat for endangered and
threatened species in support of 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.

Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants ($6.6 million) - These
grants provide funds to states and territories to support the development of
Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs), through the support of baseline surveys
and inventories, document preparation, outreach, and similar planning

HCP Land Acquisition Grants ($61.3 million) - These grants provide funds to
states and territories to acquire land associated with approved HCPs. Grants
do not fund the mitigation required of an HCP permittee; instead, they
support conservation actions by the State or local governments that
complement mitigation.

For more information about these grants contact: U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, Division of Consultation, Habitat Conservation Planning, Recovery
and State Grants, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 420, Arlington, VA 22203,

Information also can be accessed at http://endangered.fws.gov/grants/.

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 nearly 540 national wildlife refuges, thousands of
small wetlands and other special management areas.  It also operates 70
national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 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 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.

- For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
News releases are also available on the World Wide Web at

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]

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