Department of the Interior

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For Immediate Release:
Contact: Hugh Vickery
August 11, 2005
Interior Department Awards $32 Million in Grants to Support Conservation Projects in 49 States

The Department of the Interior today announced more than $32 million in cost-share grants that will help fund on-the-ground conservation projects undertaken by states, tribes, and private landowners in 49 states, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

The grants, awarded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under four grant programs, are part of President Bush's commitment to empowering Americans to conserve wildlife and its habitat in their local communities and tribal areas. In the past five years, the Interior Department has dedicated more than $2 billion to cooperative conservation grant programs.

The announcement of the grants precedes the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation in St. Louis August 29-31. President Bush called for the conference as part of his Executive Order on Cooperative Conservation signed last year.

The Executive Order directs the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce and Defense departments and the Environmental Protection Agency to emphasize cooperative conservation and partnerships in their programs and land management activities. The meeting in St. Louis will include more than 1,000 leaders from federal, state, local and tribal governments, industry, and environmental organizations, as well as private landowners.

"Our most effective conservation projects and programs build upon actions at the state, tribal and community level undertaken by the people who live in those areas," said P. Lynn Scarlett, assistant secretary of the Interior for policy, management, and budget. "The grants we are announcing today will empower the American people to conserve wildlife and habitat in their own communities through partnerships and local stewardship."

The Fish and Wildlife Service is awarding the grants under four programs: the Landowner Incentive Program, the Private Stewardship Grant Program, the Tribal Landowner Incentive Program, and the Tribal Wildlife Grant Program.

Under the Landowner Incentive Program, the Service is awarding $19 million in 40 states and the Virgin Islands. This program provides funds to states, tribes, and territories to make cost-share grants to landowners who voluntarily participate in the protection of habitat for endangered, threatened or other at-risk species on private or tribal lands.

Under the Tribal Landowner Incentive Program and the Tribal Wildlife Grant Program, the Service is awarding $8.1 million to help 45 federally recognized Indian tribes manage and conserve fish and wildlife resources on tribal lands in 18 states.

Under the Private Stewardship Grant Program, the Service is providing $5.7 million to private landowners and groups in 38 states and Puerto Rico to undertake conservation on their land for endangered, threatened and at-risk species.

Specific information on all the grants announced today can be found at

Overall, grants under the four programs are being awarded in the following states and territories: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.