Migratory Bird Habitat, Wetlands Conservation Get Funding
The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission has approved more than $17 million for habitat conservation in the United States and Canada to benefit migratory birds.
At the same time, the Commission approved the acquisition of more than 600 acres of important migratory bird habitat to be added to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System.
The funds will be used to provide grants to states and other partners through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) to meet important habitat goals for migratory birds.
The NAWCA Standard Grants funded four U.S. projects in five states totaling more than $3 million to protect, restore or enhance 5,446 acres of wetlands and associated upland habitats. Project partners added nearly $32 million.
A partnership led by Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area will receive nearly $500,000 and put up more than $3 million to conserve wetlands along the lower Colorado River in Arizona.
In California, a partnership led by the Wildlife Conservation Board will receive nearly $1 million and put up nearly $13 million to conserve wetlands in San Pablo Bay.
In Idaho and Wyoming, a partnership led by the Teton Regional Land Trust, Inc., will receive $1 million and put up in match nearly $14 million to conserve wetlands in the Teton River Basin.
And in Washington state, a partnership led by Ducks Unlimited, will receive $1 million and put up $2.2 million to conserve wetlands in the San Juan Islands.
The Commission also allocated revenue from the sale of Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, commonly called Duck Stamps, to purchase key tracts of land for the National Wildlife Refuge System.
New National Wildlife Refuge System acquisitions are:
Arkansas: Addition of nearly 10,000 acres to the Refuge boundary at Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in Tucker County. The Service plans on purchasing an estimated 980 acres this summer to conserve bottomland hardwood habitat for migratory waterfowl.
Virginia: Acquisition of a 355 acre easement to protect wetland habitat for waterfowl near Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Richmond County.
Texas: Acquisition of 330 acres to provide habitat for wintering waterfowl near Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge in Liberty County.
New Jersey: Acquisition of 19.1 acres to preserve Spartina salt marsh for migrating waterfowl within the boundaries of Cape May National Wildlife Refuge in Cape May County.
Tennessee: Acquisition of 56 acres to protect habitat for wintering waterfowl within the boundaries of Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge in Lauderdale County.
The Commission also approved more than $14 million for 14 projects in Canada, and partners added nearly $30 million. In addition, the Commission approved an additional $2 million in allocations for 38 grants under the small grant program for 2006.
Funding for this program comes from Congressional appropriations, funds collected from fines, penalties, and forfeitures under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, interest accrued to the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, and from excise taxes paid on small engine fuels through the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act.
All acquisitions were previously approved by the affected states.
Provided by the Environmental News Service.