Section 6 of the federal Endangered Species Act, since 30 September, 1988, has authorized yearly allocation of funds (awarded at a ratio of 3:1, or 9:1 if multistate) into the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (CESCF) to be accessed by states through their state agencies operating under a current Cooperative Agreement with the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The broadly stated objective for these funds was to “assist in development of programs for the conservation of endangered and threatened species or to assist in monitoring the status of candidate species...and recovered species.” TPWD has been actively involved with this program since its inception.
Originally, only projects focusing on scientific research related to conservation and recovery of federally listed taxa and species of concern (formerly called Candidate Species) were considered for funding. These are now known as Traditional Section 6 grants, and are awarded funding based competition at the state level. Beginning in 1998 money was also set aside under the CESCF program for awarding proposals related to land acquisitions and habitat conservation plans. To distinguish this latter set of awards from the earlier “research” grants these were termed “Nontraditional.”
View the current Section 6 Traditional Grants RFP.
Nontraditional grants now consist of three types: 1) Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance grants, to facilitate development of Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP), 2) Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition grants, to fund acquisition of preserve lands under a permitted HCP, and 3) Recovery Land Acquisition grants, to fund acquisition of lands containing high priority or critical habitat to protect federally listed taxa. Competition is held at the national level (among all states) for HCP Planning and HCP Land Acquisition proposals, whereas competition for Recovery Land Acquisition proposals is held at the Regional (USFWS) level. Awards allocated since 2004 under CESCF for all states can be viewed at CESCF Grants.
To date, Section 6 grants to TPWD have totaled over $110,000,000 in federal share (~$150,000,000 total cost) and have supported 224 projects addressing high priority habitat protection and conservation needs for 445 species of rare, threatened and endangered species. Additionally, approximately 50,000 acres of private land in Texas have been successfully involved in conservation efforts, half of which have been secured with fee simple acquisition or conservation easements. Annually, this program funds 6-9 Traditional grants (median federal share = $83K), and 0-4 Nontraditional grants (median federal share = ~ $4M). TPWD posts a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Traditional grants each September. RFPs for Nontraditional grants originate at the federal level and dates vary each year.
View the current Section 6 Nontraditional Grants RFP.