20 May 2016 | U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service News Release
Native wildlife such as the monarch butterfly and eastern hellbender will benefit from $5.5 million in grants awarded through the Service’s competitive State Wildlife Grants (SWG) program. The funds help conserve and protect Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN), and this year will be distributed to 11 state fish and wildlife agencies and one regional fish and wildlife association.
“Projects financed by the State Wildlife Grants program help safeguard some of our nation’s most at-risk species,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “By strategically funding work that supports large-scale conservation efforts, we can help protect our nation’s native wildlife and wild places while potentially preventing the listing of certain species under the Endangered Species Act.”
Priority is given to large-scale cooperative conservation projects that implement strategies and actions to conserve species listed in approved State Wildlife Action Plans. All 56 states and territorial wildlife agencies have such plans, which proactively protect SGCN. The funding will be matched by nearly $3 million in non-federal funds provided by states and their partners for projects that help protect species and the ecosystems on which they depend.
“We appreciate the role state agencies and other partners play in protecting these imperiled wildlife species and their habitats,” said Paul Rauch, the Service’s Acting Assistant Director for the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program. “These partnerships are critical to conserving imperiled species.”
This year’s grantees include the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and its partners, who propose to create and enhance habitat for a variety of imperiled pollinator species, including the monarch butterfly, regal fritillary and rattlesnake master borer; and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, who in partnership with the Minnesota and Iowa departments of natural resources, will launch a climate-smart conservation effort that identifies flood-safe zones for the petitioned wood turtle, the ornate box turtle and their associated habitats.
The complete list of 2016 SWG competitive projects can be found here: http://www.fws.gov/home/feature/2016/pdfs/SWG2016ProjectSummaries.pdf.
For more information regarding the SWG program visit: http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/GrantPrograms/SWG/SWG.htm.
Christina Meister, Christina_Meister@fws.gov, 703-358-2284
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