Since more than 90 percent of the High Plains region is privately owned, public/private partnerships play a vital role in meeting the shared goals of conserving declining and at-risk species, while preserving and maintaining working landscapes on private lands. The High Plains Partnership is a public/private initiative across the eleven-State High Plains region to conserve declining species and habitats on private lands. In the spirit of the Secretary's 4 C's, this partnership is a cooperative effort between the Fish and Wildlife Service, State fish and wildlife agencies, several agencies within the Department of Agriculture, private conservation organizations, and private landowners.
In 2005, Interior has requested $5.0 million to fully implement this initiative. The High Plains Partnership builds upon ongoing Partners and endangered species program activities in this eleven-State region as part of a new, region-wide initiative. The High Plains Partnership will facilitate the creation of partnerships with landowners and others throughout the High Plains, focusing on restoring, enhancing, and protecting two million acres over the next ten years. In 2005, the High Plains Partnership will leverage new funding and a new, regional focus on expanded partnerships. Through these projects, Partners program biologists will restore approximately 34,000 acres of uplands, 1,000 acres of wetlands, and 1,000 acres of riparian habitat within the High Plains region. Working with other agencies and private organizations, the Fish and Wildlife Service will enroll approximately 50,000 acres into conservation agreements in 2005. Ultimately, this program will reduce the potential for listing candidate species, assisting in recovering or downlisting species, and preclude the need to list grassland species in decline.
- June 2004