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Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Deputy Executive Director Dennis Guise and Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Vern Ross today announced $1.49 million in federal monies will be available soon for high-priority habitat conservation projects for endangered, threatened and at-risk species across Pennsylvania. 

These federal dollars are being made available to the two agencies through the Landowner Incentive Program (LIP), which is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and are designed to protect critical habitats, such as wetlands, riparian buffers and grasslands.  In addition, Pennsylvania will be eligible for LIP monies in 2004, if a sufficient number of quality projects can be identified during the first round of funding.

"In order to stretch these federal dollars further, we plan to offer local project cooperators the opportunity to compete for matching grants," Ross said.  "By doing so, we can spur local investment in these worthy projects."

Prospective conservation partners will be sent a project nomination package complete with instructions.  Applications must be submitted by 1 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 22, in order to be considered for this round of funding. The agencies hope to finalize project selections later this year, and contracts will be finalized by the first quarter of 2004.

"We must continue to work hand-in-hand with our conservation partners across the state to come up with the best projects to provide long-term conservation benefits to the Commonwealth," Guise said.  "This program provides us with a new opportunity to do just that."

Last year, the two agencies distributed more than $2.5 million in State Wildlife Grant Program funding for high-priority fish and wildlife conservation projects across the state.  In 2001, the two agencies allocated $1.3 million in federal Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program (WCRP) funding for similar purposes.  Other federal proposals being reviewed by Congress, including the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA), could provide additional federal dollars for wildlife projects.

For more information and an application packet for LIP funding, click here.


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