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Georgia Parham (Indiana, Missouri,)812-334-4261 ext.203

Scott Flaherty (Minnesota, Iowa)612-713-5309

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Interior Secretary Norton Announces $12.9 Million in Grants to Fund Conservation Projects in 40 States; Midwest Receives $505,500 for Fish and Wildlife Projects

Conservation projects to benefit fish and wildlife in six Midwest states received a half-million dollar boost from the federal government through grants announced today by Interior Department Secretary Gale Norton under the Cooperative Conservation Initiative. The grants, provided through the Interior Department’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will be cost-shared with state, local, and private partners to fund projects that will provide more than $1.3 million for wildlife habitat projects in the Midwest.
Nineteen projects in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin will receive grants, to be matched with funding, labor, and other services from partners ranging from conservation groups to state governments. The projects are aimed at restoring wildlife habitat, especially grassland and wetland habitats, to benefit waterfowl, migratory birds, fish, and resident and native wildlife. Among the grants awarded is $170,000 to fund work with landowners in Iowa’s Loess Hills region, one of the most unique ecosystems in the country. Other projects would help control invasive species, establish native grasses and vegetation, and enhance fish passage.
The grants to fish and wildlife projects in the Midwest are part of the Interior Department’s Cooperative Conservation Initiative that is providing $12.9 million in 40 states and Puerto Rico through the Service, Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service. Partners are required to at least match the federal grants, so overall funding for the projects totals more than $35 million. Midwest partners are providing $858,637 in funds, equipment and services.
Cooperative Conservation Initiative Projects in the Midwest
Kankakee Sands restoration: 500 acres of upland areas will be restored at The Nature Conservancy’s Kankakee Sands Project through removal and treatment of invasive plants and seeding to natural grasses and forbs to benefit species such as the upland sandpiper, grasshopper sparrow, piping plover and other migrating shorebirds and waterfowl. USFWS share: $45,000. Partner share: $375,000. Total project cost: $420,000.
Invasive species control in western Iowa: More than 400 acres of native grassland will be cleared of invasive species and replanted to native habitat in the Iowa Loess Hills, restoring biodiversity in the Missouri River watershed. USFWS share: $70,000. Partner share: $76,500. Total project cost: $146,500.
Prairie restoration in Loess Hills of western Iowa: More than 500 acres will be improved, restored and/or protected by removing invasive species and restoring native grasses once common to the area. Landowners will receive assistance with grassland management, including prescribed burning, to control invasive species and maintain native vegetation. USFWS share: $100,000. Partner share: $100,000. Total project cost: $200,000.
Tallgrass prairie restoration and enhancement at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge: 3,000 acres of upland and 20 wetland acres will be improved for wildlife through identification and removal of invasive species, collection and planting of native seeds, and monitoring of restoration activities. USFWS share: $56,650. Partner share: $60,880. Total project cost: $117,530.
Grassland initiative in southern Lower Peninsula: At least 100 acres of native grasses will be established in 47 counties to provide nesting and migration cover and food for migratory birds and songbirds; improve water quality by reducing erosion; and provide information to the public on habitat opportunities. USFWS share: $10,000. Partner share: $10,000. Total project cost: $20,000.
Habitat restoration on Upper Driggs River: 10 miles of stream habitat will be restored by planting streamside native grasses to reduce erosion and trees to provide overhead canopy, improving water quality and fish habitat. USFWS share: $3,000. Partner share: $3,000. Total project cost: $6,000.
Invasive plant control in sensitive habitats: 200 acres of fens, sedge meadows, dunes and sand prairies will be improved through removal of invasive plants to benefit federal- or state-listed species such as the Karner blue butterfly, Mitchell’s satyr butterfly, Pitcher’s thistle and massasauga rattlesnake. USFWS share: $50,000. Partner share: $50,000. Total project cost: $100,000.
Bird viewing at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge: Trees, shrubs, perennial grasses and forbs will be planted and maintained, and bird feeders distributed to create a world-class bird feeding, observation and education station. USFWS share: $3,293. Partner share: $3,293. Total project cost: $6,586.
Invasive species control in Otter Tail County: More than 2,000 acres of grassland and 100 acres of wetland will benefit from use of biological controls, including mine-stemming beetles, to control leafy spurge and purple loosestrife. USFWS share: $26,000. Partner share: $30,000. Total project cost: $56,000.
Pine Lake prairie restoration at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge: Two former farm fields totaling 76 acres will be restored by planting grasses and forbs to provide food and habitat for invertebrates, migratory birds, nesting waterfowl and mammals. USFWS share: $1,350. Partner share: $1,350. Total project cost: $2,700.
Prairie and grassland management in western Minnesota: Native grasslands and idled croplands and pastures will be restored and enhanced through native plantings, prescribed burns, tree/shrub removal, and control of invasive species to benefit waterfowl, water birds, other migratory birds, prairie chickens and other native and resident species associated with grasslands. USFWS share: $39,094. Partner share: $39,094. Total project cost: $78,188
Prairie and wetland restoration on state and federal lands in Murray County: Wetland and upland areas in state wildlife management areas and federal waterfowl production areas will be enhanced. Fish barriers will prevent upstream migration of rough fish into shallow lakes and wetlands, and native prairie seeds will be used to restore upland habitat, benefiting waterfowl and nesting habitats for migratory birds. USFWS share: $39,093. Partner share: $40,000. Total project cost: $79,093.
Restoring native grasslands at Litchfield Wetland Management District: A total of 152 acres on three waterfowl production areas will be restored through removing invasive plants and establishing native plant species to enhance wildlife habitat, reduce soil erosion, improve water quality and decrease downstream flooding. USFWS share: $4,500. Partner share: $4,500. Total project cost: $9,000.
Upland restoration at Glacial Ridge: Invasive plants and noxious weeds will be removed and areas planted with native grasses and forbs to restore uplands at Glacial Ridge. Species benefiting include prairie chickens, sharp-tailed grouse, upland sandpipers, sandhill cranes, deer, moose, wolves, nesting waterfowl and song birds. USFWS share: $10,000. Partner share: $10,000. Total project cost: $20,000.
Enhance fish passage during high water at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge: Fish passage will be facilitated by notching a spillway to allow fish access to 1,700 acres of nursery fish habitat and 4.5 miles of stream for migrating. USFWS share: $35,000. Partner share: $40,000. Total project cost $75,000.
Prairie grass collection to restore grassland at Great River National Wildlife Refuge: Prairie cordgrass will be collected, propagated and used to improve grassland habitat for migratory birds. USFWS share: $1,020. Partner share: $1,020. Total project cost: $2,040.
Enhance Oak savanna and native prairie at Leopold Wetland Management District: Invasive plant species will be removed and native species established to restore habitat for migratory birds, resident wildlife and native plants on 50 acres of oak savanna and native tallgrass prairie. USFWS share: $6,000. Partner share: $7,000. Total project cost: $13,000.
Landscaping for wildlife at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge visitor center: Volunteers will plant native shrubs, flowers and other plants on a 2-acre landscaping demonstration area on the refuge. The area will provide habitat for resident and migratory bird species, reduce maintenance and energy costs, and demonstrate the benefits of landscaping for wildlife. USFWS share: $2,500. Partner share: $2,500. Total project cost: $5,000.
Reduce habitat fragmentation on Upper Halfway Creek, Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge: Remove woody vegetation to create larger block of grassland habitat for nesting birds such as eastern meadowlarks and bobolinks. USFWS share: $3,000. Partner share: $4,500. Total project cost $7,500.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses more than 542 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


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