Imperiled Species Get $34.8 Million For Habitat On Private Lands
The Department of the Interior has awarded grants of $34.8 million to states under a new partnership program to assist private landowners in conserving and restoring the habitat of endangered species and other at-risk plants and animals.
The cost-share grants, part of the administration’s new Landowner Incentive Program (LIP), will support innovative partnerships in 42 states. State fish and wildlife agencies, landowners or non-profit groups must put up at least 25 percent of the cost of projects. With these grants, states will be able to provide financial and technical assistance to interested landowners.
The LIP grant program is two-tiered. Grants awarded to states under Tier 1 focus on administrative program needs and may not exceed $180,000 in federal money.
U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia may apply for Tier 1 grants of up to $75,000. Tier 2 grants support project implementation. All grants require at least a 25 percent match from non-federal sources.
Many states already have a landowner incentive program. For states that currently do not have a landowner program, the grants will allow them to create one. “We are providing seed money to many states to get their landowner programs off the ground,” Norton said.
For example, the Colorado Division of Wildlife plans to use its LIP funds to focus on Front Range habitat for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, for Eastern short-grass prairie habitat for the black-tailed prairie dog and several bird species, and on Gunnison Basin habitat for the Gunnison sage grouse.
Colorado will establish management agreements and seek conservation easements with private landowners to protect and restore these habitats. The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources will fund a total of 15 landowner projects on 105,140 acres across five islands. More than 60 wildlife species and 248 plant species of concern will benefit from management actions including the creation of barrier fences, the removal of feral pigs and goats from critical habitat areas, the creation of onsite seed sources for endangered plant species, and the operation of a rotational grazing program to benefit the endangered Hawaiian goose (nene).
Tribes also are eligible for an additional $5 million in grants under the program. Further guidance specific to tribes is currently out for public comment, and grants will be announced in the future.
A state-by-state list for the Landowner Incentive Program grants follows. For more information on the Landowner Incentive Program, please contact: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Federal Aid, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 140, Arlington, VA 22203; phone (703) 358-2156 or visit the FWS Grants-at- a-Glance web site: http://www.grants.fws.gov/. — U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Grant Awards for the Landowner Incentive Program — STATE TIER 1 TIER 2 TOTAL ALASKA $1,642,500
NEW HAMPSHIRE $180,000
NEW JERSEY $180,000
NEW MEXICO $180,000
NEW YORK $180,000
NORTH CAROLINA $165,000
NORTH DAKOTA $890,500
SOUTH CAROLINA $975,000
WEST VIRGINIA $180,000