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Press Release: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2/6/06


The 2007 President's budget requests $2.1 billion for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The request highlights the Administration's continuing commitment to conserve America 's wetlands resources and support for conservation partnerships in communities across the country.

"Using the best science available, the Service continues serving our nation's fish and wildlife conservation needs," said Interior Secretary Gale Norton. "The Service's proven track record working cooperatively with private landowners for habitat improvement is a perfect example of the Department's support for resource use through collaborative consultation."

The FY2007 request strategically positions the Service to maintain strong, core functions essential to the Service's mission, such as the effort that resulted in the re-discovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker in 2005. The budget request includes increases of $800,000 to develop recovery and management plans for the woodpecker.

New funding for grant programs in the 2007 budget to support Cooperative Conservation includes:

An increase of $7.2 million for a total of $74.7 million for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Fund that aids wildlife conservation on State and Tribal lands. This includes $5.0 million for a new competitive grant program.

An increase of $2.2 million for a total of $41.6 million for the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, which provides matching grants to private or public organizations and individuals to carry out wetlands conservation projects that benefit waterfowl resources in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

An increase of $2.7 million for a total of $24.4 million for Landowner Incentive Grants that provide State and Tribal fish and wildlife agencies funds needed to establish or expand habitat protection and restoration programs on private land for "at risk" species.

An increase of $2.1 million for a total of $9.4 million for Private Stewardship Grant program that provides cost-share grants to landowners for conservation actions to benefit Federally listed, proposed or candidate or other at-risk species.

The request includes $80.0 million for the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund to help States support a wide array of conservation projects for candidate, proposed and listed species.

Additional Service components of the Secretary's Cooperative Conservation Program also received support:

A total of $42.7 million for the successful Partners for Fish and Wildlife program. This program works with private landowners on a voluntary basis to restore habitat on private land. This total includes a requested increase of $2.0 million for restoration work in the Klamath Basin and nearly $1.3 million for wolf monitoring and Yellowstone grizzly bear conservation efforts.

An increase of $2.0 million for the National Fish Habitat Initiative for a total of $3.0 million. The National Fish Habitat Initiative is a nationwide effort that harnesses the energies, expertise and existing partnerships of state and federal agencies and conservation organizations to improve aquatic habitat health.

Increases of $4.3 million for a total of $8.6 million for the National Wildlife Refuge System's Challenge Cost Share program, which provides grants that match Federal and private funds for conservation projects on refuges.

A programmatic increase of nearly $1.0 million, for a total of $11.8 million, to implement the North American Waterfowl Management Plan to manage waterfowl and diverse migratory bird species by supporting the existing 19 Joint Ventures and initiating four new ventures in 2007. This successful and highly cooperative program protects and restores vital habitats for diverse migratory bird species across North America.

Additional Service highlights of the President's 2007 budget proposal for operations include:

$7.4 million for Service efforts monitoring Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in wild migratory birds.

$41.3 million for the Migratory Bird Management program, a $2.5 million programmatic increase. This includes the Joint Ventures discussed above. This increase will go to monitoring the Nation's waterfowl population.

$61.1 million for the National Fish Hatchery System, including a $1.9 million programmatic increase for hatchery operations.

$5.0 million for fish passage improvement, a $1.4 million increase.

The 2007 President's Budget Request will be made available in a few weeks at http://budget.fws.gov.

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 96-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 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 Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.




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