Department of the Interior
For Immediate Release:
March 23, 2006
Contact: Hugh Vickery
Interior Department Issues Report on Cooperative Conservation
Accomplishments during Tenure of Secretary Gale Norton
WASHINGTON — The Department of Interior today released an accomplishment report on the department's cooperative-conservation initiatives during the five-year tenure of Secretary Gale Norton.
The report, titled "Sustaining Land and Habitat for Wildlife through Cooperative Conservation," highlights the department's success in promoting cooperative conservation through record amounts of funding; improving habitat on millions of acres of public land; strengthening the relationship with the hunting and angling community; promoting best- management practices for managing multipurpose lands; and recovering wildlife populations through partnerships.
For example, the report shows that from 2002 to 2006, the department provided $2.1 billion in grants to states, private landowners, hunting and fishing organizations and other conservation groups to preserve open space, to restore habitat and to conserve species.
In 2007, the department's budget proposes $322.3 million in cooperative conservation programs, an increase of more than $227 million, or 239 percent, since 2000.
"We have made great strides for conservation through the power of partnership with states, tribes, sporting groups, local communities, private landowners and others," Norton said. "We have proven that the Four C's - conservation through communication, consultation and cooperation - benefit our wildlife and its habitat far more than heavy-handed regulation."
The report particularly highlights the department's commitment to ensuring that America's hunting and fishing tradition remains strong.
"Hunters and anglers have been the backbone of conservation in this country for more than a century," Norton said. "We have worked hard to ensure that public lands remain open to hunting and that sportsmen and sportswomen are consulted on our conservation policies and initiatives."
Examples of accomplishments cited in the report include the following: