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Endangered Species Conservation Funds Available
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is seeking proposals from universities, cities and counties, private conservation groups and others interested in acquiring land or conducting conservation planning for endangered species.
This spring, TPWD will accept proposals and then will award grants using federal funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under Section 6 of the federal Endangered Species Act. Any grant proposals submitted by TPWD will compete with other proposals from around the nation; there are no funds earmarked for Texas.
"These grants show a commitment from Congress to help states recover threatened and endangered species," said Mike Berger, TPWD wildlife division director. "In Texas, our focus is always on habitat—on the landscapes and waterways that sustain all wildlife, including rare species. We hope these grants will help private landowners, local communities and other partners conserve those various habitat types."
For fiscal year 2003, TPWD received approval for grants that included close to $5 million for Balcones Canyonlands Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) land acquisition in Travis County, $3.5 million for Bexar County Karst Invertebrate Habitat Preserve in Bexar County, $516,000 for Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District HCP planning assistance in South Central Texas, $200,000 for a Karst Invertebrate (cave dwelling species) project in Williamson County and $239,325 for the Peterson Ranch in Kendall County for land acquisition to recover the golden-cheeked warbler.
These are 3:1 matching grants that require applicants to provide at least 25 percent of total project costs from non-federal funding sources.
Project proposals must concern a fish or wildlife species (or a suite of species) that is on the federal threatened or endangered species lists or that are candidates for federal listing.
There are three grants categories:
- Recovery Land Acquisition Grants — for acquisition of habitat for endangered and threatened species in support of approved recovery plans. Acquisition of habitat to secure long-term protection is often an essential element of a comprehensive recovery effort for a listed species.
- Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants — to help develop Habitat Conservation Plans through the support of baseline surveys and inventories, document preparation, outreach, and similar planning activities.
- HCP Land Acquisition Grants — to acquire land associated with approved HCPs. Grants do not fund the mitigation required of someone with an HCP permit; instead, they support acquisitions by state or local governments that complement HCP actions.
The deadline to submit a grant proposal is April 16. TPWD anticipates awarding grants in late spring.
For grant proposal guidelines, go to the Section 6 grants Web page (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/grants/section_6_proposals/competitive.phtml). Or, contact
Craig Farquhar in the TPWD Wildlife Diversity Branch at 3000 South Interstate 35, Ste. 100, Austin, TX 78704, firstname.lastname@example.org, (512) 912-7018.
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