Endangered Species Conservation Funds Available
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is seeking proposals
from cities and counties, private conservation groups and others interested in
acquiring land or conducting conservation planning for endangered species.
This is the third year of a program in which Texas has administered
competitive grants under Section 6 of the federal Endangered Species Act. In
early 2003, TPWD will accept proposals and then will award grants using funds
from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"These grants show an increased commitment from Congress to help states
like Texas recover threatened and endangered species," said Gary Graham,
Ph.D. and TPWD wildlife division director. "In Texas, our focus is always
on how to help private landowners and local communities protect their landscapes
and watersheds in ways that sustain a variety of species."
Last year, TPWD received approval for six grants as part of this program,
including $10 million for Balcones Canyonlands Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP)
land acquisition in Travis County, about $1 million for Storm Ranch land
easements in Travis County and $328,000 for Edwards Aquifer Authority HCP
planning assistance in South Central Texas.
Project proposals for the current grant period 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 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 Friday, Feb. 14. TPWD anticipates
awarding grant in late spring.
For grant proposal guidelines, go to the TPWD grants Web page (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/grants)
and look for the link to Endangered Species/Section 6 grants. Or, contact John
Maresh in the TPWD Wildlife Diversity Branch at 3000 South Interstate 35,
Austin, TX 78704 or (512) 912-7011.