Grants in Pacific Region Support Land Acquisition [and] Conservation
July 14, 2003
Jenny Valdivia or Joan Jewett, 503-231-6121,
or Don Morgan, 703-358-2061
The grants were announced today by Interior Secretary Gale Norton, and were awarded in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada and Hawaii under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act. They include $5 million for Recovery Land Acquisition, $30 million for Habitat Conservation Planning (HCP) Land Acquisition, and $4.5 million in HCP Planning Assistance. The grants will enable States, working in partnership with private landowners, conservation groups and other agencies and organizations, to initiate conservation planning efforts, and to acquire and protect habitat to support the conservation of threatened and endangered species.
"Today's grant awards recognize the important work that States and their partners are doing to conserve and recover threatened and endangered species," Secretary Norton said.
"Grants are an important tool in our efforts to empower local governments and citizens as they seek to develop voluntary conservation partnerships that provide real benefits to listed species."
Nationally, the 'Section 6 grant program' awarded a total of more than $70 million to 29 states, including $6.6 million in HCP Planning Assistance, $51 million in HCP Land Acquisition, and $12 million in Recovery Land Acquisition.
"As someone who has worked for decades at the State and local level on behalf of wildlife conservation, I know these grants really help," said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Steve Williams.
"They provide not only a financial boost to grantees but also provide encouragement by supporting on-the-ground efforts."
"The Pacific Region has the highest number of endangered species in the nation," said Dave Allen, Regional Director of the Pacific Region. "These three grant programs will 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
Grants do not fund any mitigation required of an HCP permittee, but
A Habitat Conservation Plan is an agreement between a landowner and the Service that allows the landowner to incidentally take a threatened or endangered species in the course of otherwise lawful activities when the landowner agrees to conservation measures that will minimize and mitigate the impact of the taking.
A Habitat Conservation Plan may also be developed by a county or state to cover certain activities of all landowners within their jurisdiction and may address multiple species.
There are more than 330 Habitat Conservation Plans currently in effect -- covering approximately 30 million acres -- and some 320 more are being developed.
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 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.
For more information on the 2003 grant awards for these programs nationwide see the Service's Endangered Species home page at http://endangered.fws.gov/grants/index.html
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 542 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 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 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.
Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition Grants by State:
Assessment District AD 161 HCP (Riverside County, CA) - A $6,250,000 grant award will enable the acquisition of properties in North Warm Springs Creek, the Santa Margarita Watershed, and Ramsgate area of Riverside County. The acquisition will benefit wildlife populations by conserving habitat in large, interconnected blocks. In addition to providing core habitat areas for the Western Riverside Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP), both of these areas support more than 100 Federal and State listed species proposed to be covered under the Plan. These species include the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher, endangered least Bell's vireo and Stephen's kangaroo rat. The plant communities found in the area, including sage scrub and riparian habitat, are representative of the original, native habitats of the region. The public benefits of maintaining these areas as open space, include the use for various recreational purposes such as hiking and mountain biking.
Colton Substation HCP (San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, CA) - A $2,156,675 grant will enable the acquisition and protection of portions of the Colton Dune ecosystem, unique to this region of San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Approximately two percent of the Colton Dune ecosystem still exists. The acquisition will permanently conserve habitat occupied by a suite of federally and State listed species endemic to the area, including the federally endangered Delhi Sands flower-loving fly, threatened coastal California gnatcatcher, Los Angeles pocket mouse, and western burrowing owl. These lands are critical for the survival and recovery of the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly and the many other species that occur within this ecosystem.
Echilet Ranch, San Joaquin MSCP (San Joaquin County, CA) - A $3 million grant award will be used to acquire this property in order to protect one of the two last remaining natural habitats of the federally listed large flowered fiddleneck in partnership with the San Joaquin County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan. This property acquisition will significantly reduce the possibility that this species will become extinct, while also supporting the recovery of State and federally listed species such as the San Joaquin kit fox and California red-legged frog.
San Mateo, Ohlone Shell Mound Site, San Bruno Mountain HCP (San Mateo County, CA) - An $860,000 grant award will be used for the acquisition of the Preservation Parcel on San Bruno Mountain to protect 26 acres of high-value endangered species habitat and an ancient cultural site in perpetuity. The Preservation Parcel contains habitat for the federally endangered Callippe silverspot butterfly, a butterfly restricted in range to San Bruno Mountain. The site also offers the potential to be a recovery site for two additional butterfly species. The acquisition of the Preservation Parcel will compliment the San Bruno Mountain HCP and assist in the conservation of the endangered butterflies and native ecosystems.
Sloan Canyon - San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program (San Diego County, CA) - A $4,875,000 grant will enable project partners to acquire important habitat along the Sweetwater River in Sloan Canyon downstream from Loveland Reservoir. The San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) identifies this property, which includes 17 parcels totaling approximately 876 acres, as linking habitat for numerous threatened and endangered species covered by the plan, while simultaneously providing core areas for several sensitive biological resources. The parcels are known to support several pairs of threatened California gnatcatchers and a significant population of endangered arroyo toads. While located within the County of San Diego's MSCP sub-area plan, the property has an approved permit for a sand mine that predates development of the MSCP. Acquisition of this property will greatly enhance the County's preserve, while preventing development of the sand mine and eliminating the threat it poses to an area that supports approximately 30 of the 85 species covered by the Washington
Cedar River Watershed HCP (King County, WA) - A $1.5 million grant will ensure the protection of 300 acres of riparian habitat along a corridor on the Cedar River, near the city of Seattle. Acquisition of numerous parcels from willing sellers will extend conservation benefits from the protected upper watershed, which supplies Seattle's drinking water, down through the lower third of the watershed, where development pressure intensifies. Salmon, steelhead, cutthroat trout and bald eagles, as well as other resident wildlife will benefit from the acquisition of these habitats, which represent the best of what remains in the rapidly urbanizing lower Cedar River watershed. Partners include King County, Seattle Public Utilities, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Washington Department of Natural Resources HCP (Washington State) - A $9,959,400 grant will help the Washington Department of Natural Resources and other partners acquire more than 3,400 acres of mature conifer forest on the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas, providing benefits to many fish and wildlife species. Northern spotted owls, marbled murrelets, bald eagles, bull trout, and salmon all use the lands to be acquired. Protection of these lands for conservation will provide linkages between high quality habitats, protect nesting murrelets and owls, and expand protection from already-conserved areas.
Yakima River Wildlife Corridor - Phase II (Kittitas County, WA) - A $1,849,720 grant will be used by a partnership including the Cascades Conservation Partnership, the Trust for Public Lands, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to acquire and protect more than 1140 acres of mature riparian and conifer forests in the Cascade Mountain Range, along Snoqualmie Pass. Habitat acquisition achieved by this project will help ensure the protection of habitats necessary for wildlife movement across Interstate 90.
Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants by State:
East Contra Costa HCP (Contra Costa County, CA) - A $100,000 grant will enable project partners to develop an HCP to benefit the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, threatened California red-legged frog, and many other declining species found in the area. Their survival in this rapidly developing area depends upon the protection of large blocks of contiguous habitat. This HCP provides the opportunity to plan urban development in such a manner as to provide habitat for sensitive species and open space for residents.
Kern County Valley Floor HCP (Kern County, CA) - A $90,000 grant will be used by this partnership to develop the Kern Valley Floor HCP, which proposes to include approximately 1.9 million acres on the San Joaquin Valley floor. Among the 28 covered species are several protected by the Endangered Species Act and the California Endangered Species Act, including the San Joaquin kit fox, two kangaroo rat species, Bakersfield cactus, and Kern mallow. As planned, the HCP should allow most urban development activities, normal oil and gas exploration and development activities to occur. Using weighted habitat values will encourage potential development within low value habitat while mitigating impacts on high value habitat. Habitat credits based on habitat value are created by willing participants, who may then sell those credits to project proponents seeking mitigation credits.
Placer County HCP / NCCP (Placer County, CA) - A $100,000 grant will support a large regional planning effort to conserve habitat for 35 listed and unlisted animals and plants and their ecosystems within one of the fastest growing Counties in California. Species likely to benefit from this project include the Lahontan cutthroat trout, foothill yellow-legged frog, and Pacific fisher. The area is currently experiencing intense development pressure and this grant will enable the County to gather the land cover and habitat inventory information, an essential and fundamental step in the next phase of the HCP/NCCP planning process. Entire interrelated natural communities will be protected, which will ensure the viability of populations for a wide range of plants and animals.
Sandhills Regional HCP (Santa Cruz County, CA) - A $100,000 grant will provide funding to the County of Santa Cruz and City of Scotts Valley to complete Phase 2 of the development of the Sandhills Regional HCP in Santa Cruz County, California. The project will result in the development of a conservation strategy for the Sandhills ecosystem to benefit numerous Federal and State-listed species, including the Mount Hermon June beetle, Zayante band-winged grasshopper, Ben Lomond spineflower and Ben Lomond wallflower. The HCP will identify ways to conserve Sandhills habitat for listed species in perpetuity as well as sites for mitigating impacts from development. In addition, the HCP will outline the development of a program for monitoring and managing listed species in the area, and institute a streamlined and more cost-effective permitting process for development projects proposed by landowners.
Santa Clara County HCP/NCCP (Santa Clara County, CA) - A $300,000 grant will enable Santa Clara County to initiate a countywide HCP/NCCP. The first phase of the project is being undertaken in partnership with the City of San Jose, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Agency and the Santa Clara Valley Water District, with potential involvement from other cities in the southern portion of the county. Santa Clara County has experienced enormous population growth over the past 50 years and is continuing to experience growth pressures which pose a threat to more than 100 endangered, threatened, and other rare species. The HCP/NCCP will provide a comprehensive approach to conservation and management of multiple species across the 841,000-acre county, including preservation of much of the remaining habitat for several federally listed species, establishment of habitat preserves, habitat restoration, and streamlined regulatory permitting processes.
Shasta Plains HCP/NCCP (Shasta County, CA) - A $200,000 grant award will support the development of an HCP to cover approximately 250 square miles in southern-central Shasta County. Vernal pools in the Shasta plains region provide valuable habitat for a host of rare and sensitive vernal pool species, including several federally listed species. Many of the remaining vernal pools occur on privately owned lands and are vulnerable to loss and degradation. This HCP will protect the vernal pools, riparian habitat and stream corridors, and oak woodlands, while providing the development community with a streamlined permitting process.
Solano HCP/NCCP (Solano and Yolo Counties, CA) - A $100,000 grant, will help in the development of the Solano HCP/NCCP, which proposes to cover approximately 900 square miles, including all of Solano County and a small portion of Yolo County. The HCP/NCCP proposes to cover a minimum of 36 species, 17 of which are federally threatened or endangered. Vernal pool, grassland, riparian, and marsh habitats comprise a large portion of the planning area which is under intense development pressure. This HCP/NCCP will protect existing habitat, restore degraded habitats, and contribute to responsible planning for the expected and mandated growth of four major cities within Solano County.
South Sacramento HCP (Sacramento County, CA) - A $200,000 grant will benefit up to 51 species, including seven federally threatened and endangered species, within an area of approximately 490 square miles. The development community and environmental groups are actively involved in this planning effort that will streamline the regulatory process and provide benefits to a wide variety of biological resources including two species of orcutt grass that are restricted to Sacramento County.
West Mojave Plan HCP (San Bernardino, Kern, Los Angeles, and Inyo
Counties, CA) - A $300,000 grant will provide funding to assist the
development of an HCP associated with the 9.4 million-acre West Mojave
Yuba-Sutter HCP (Yuba and Sutter Counties, CA) - A $200,000 grant
Coordination and Planning of a Programmatic Habitat Conservation
Greater Priest Lake Multi Species HCP (Bonner and Boundary counties,
Agate Desert Multi-species Vernal Pool HCP/WCP (Jackson County, OR)
HCP/EIS for Western Snowy Plover in Oregon (Clatsop, Tillamook,
Broughton Land Company Native Fish HCP (Columbia County, WA) - A
Dungeness CIDMP/HCP (Clallam and Jefferson counties, WA) - A $70,000
Family Forest Habitat Conservation Plan for Lewis County (Lewis
Washington Forests and Fish HCP (Statewide) - A $1,127,047 grant
Washington State Aquatic Lands Habitat Conservation Planning
Recovery Land Acquisition Grants by State:
Buena Vista Property (Santa Cruz County) - A $540,215 grant will
The acquisition will protect one of only eleven breeding ponds of
Colton Dune Ecosystem (San Bernardino County) - A $500,000 grant
Partners include California Department of Fish and Game, California
Kanaka III/Gabbro Soil Plant Habitat (El Dorado County) - A $465,000
Partners include the Service, California Department of Fish and Game,
La Sierra Canyon, Santa Monica Mountains (Los Angeles County) - A
Yreka Phlox at China Hills (Siskiyou County) - A $122,000 grant will
Partners include the Service, California Department of Fish and Game,
Lockes Ranch (Nye County) - A $900,000 grant will help secure key
Project partners include the Service, Nevada Department of Wildlife
Asotin Creek (Asotin County) - A $600,000 grant will help the
Ebey's Landing (Island County) - A $1.5 million grant will help fund
Project partners include the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, The Nature
For more information on the 2003 grant awards for these programs
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