California has been awarded $12.7 million in federal grants to support conservation planning and acquisition of habitat for threatened and endangered fish, wildlife and plants.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awards annual competitive grants from the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund to states. The grants are authorized by Section 6 of the federal Endangered Species Act. Nearly $33 million was granted to 21 states in 2012. These funds are administered under three grant programs: Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) Planning Assistance, HCP Land Acquisition and Recovery Land Acquisition.
California received $4.2 million in HCP Planning Assistance Grants, which support the development of HCPs and, in California, Natural Community Conservation Plans (NCCPs). HCPs and NCCPs are large-scale, ecosystem-based plans designed to protect plants, animals and their habitats while allowing compatible and appropriate economic activity. Grants fund baseline surveys and inventories, document preparation, public outreach and similar planning activities. Seven plans were awarded grants: including HCPs and NCCPs in the Bay-Delta, Northeast San Luis Obispo County, Kern Valley Floor, Butte Regional, Bakersfield Regional, Town of Apple Valley and the city of Colton.
A total of $7 million was awarded to the state for HCP Land Acquisition Grants, which fund the purchase of land to meet the conservation objectives of approved HCPs and NCCPs. Three plans received awards: the East Contra Costa County NCCP/HCP, the Western Riverside County NCCP/HCP, and the Northwest San Diego County Multiple Habitat Conservation Plan NCCP/HCP.
California received $1.5 million in Recovery Land Acquisition Grants to acquire habitat for threatened and endangered species associated with approved recovery plans. Funded projects include:
- Kelsey Ranch Conservation Easement, Merced County, which includes habitat for vernal pool fairy shrimp, California tiger salamander and vernal pool rare plants.
- Arrastre Canyon, Los Angeles County, for unarmored three-spine stickleback, Southwestern willow flycatcher, California red-legged frog and arroyo toad habitat.
- Shay Meadows Conservation Area Expansion, San Bernardino County, for habitat for unarmored three-spine stickleback and five federally-listed plants
- Riverside County habitat for Peninsular bighorn sheep, desert tortoise, desert slender salamander and triple-ribbed milk-vetch
For more information on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grants for threatened and endangered species, including links to the complete list of awards nationwide, visit www.fws.gov/endangered/grants. More information on conservation planning in California can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/habcon/nccp.
Logo courtesy California Department of Fish and Game