The cooperative grants will provide vital support to efforts by partnering state wildlife agencies and conservation organizations to improve the health of the land and water that supports these species and scores of communities across the nation.
Issued through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (authorized by Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act), these competitive grants enable states to work with private landowners, conservation groups and other government agencies to initiate conservation planning efforts and acquire and protect habitat that benefits threatened and endangered fish, wildlife and plants.
Washington will receive $2 million to acquire 2,400 acres in Asotin County, including one mile of the Lower Grande Ronde River and three miles of tributaries that support federally listed bull trout as well as steelhead, interior redband trout, Pacific lamprey and many other aquatic species. This acquisition is part of a larger, multi-phased landscape-level project that will eventually protect 13,000 acres of habitat lands and 15 miles of streams. The project is bordered on the north by Forest Service lands and on the south and east by Bureau of Land Management lands. This is a rare opportunity to purchase a large, ecologically intact and diverse landscape that also will protect uplands and other habitats that support, species such as elk, bighorn sheep, deer, and golden eagles.
The other projects in Washington and Oregon are:
- $2 million for I-90 Wildlife Corridor Phase V in King and Kittitas counties, Wash.
- $626,687 for South Puget Sound Prairie Habitat Conservation Plan in Thurston County, Wash.
- $749,400 for Camas Meadows Natural Area Preserve In-holdings in Chelan County, Wash.
- $410,000 for Deschutes Basin Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan in Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Klamath, Sherman, and Wasco counties, Ore.
- $355,719 for Upper Sevenmile Creek Flow Restoration Easement in Klamath County, Ore.
“Our nation’s most effective conservation efforts are partnerships in which federal, state and local governments work hand-in-hand with private landowners and other stakeholders,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “The cooperative grants announced today will make it possible to build these voluntary partnerships to conserve the vital habitat of diverse threatened and endangered species. In addition, many of these partnerships provide direct benefits to people, such as improving water quality and supporting jobs and economic growth.”
The grant funding is provided through programs established to help advance creative partnerships for the recovery of imperiled species. This year, the fund will allocate approximately $8 million in grants through the Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants Program; $14.2 million through the Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition Grants Program, and $9.4 million through the Recovery Land Acquisition Grants Program.
“Private landowners play a critical part in conserving our threatened and endangered species,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Robyn Thorson. “These grants provide funding for essential partnerships between federal, state and local governments, private organizations and individuals, allowing us to work together to enhance ongoing conservation and recovery efforts.”
A complete list of the 2013 grant awards under these programs (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 15.615) is available online atwww.fws.gov/endangered/grants/index.html.
The Endangered Species Act provides a critical safety net for America’s native fish, wildlife, and plants. The Service is working to actively engage conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. To learn more about the Endangered Species Program, visit http://www.fws.gov/endangered/.