Wednesday, April 29, 2009

$3.6 Million Awarded to Help States Safeguard Nature in an Era of Climate Change

Grant will enable state fish and wildlife agencies in updating
and implementing their wildlife action plans

NEW YORK —The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) announced last week grants totaling nearly $3.6 million over four years to help states account for climate change in their wildlife action plans. The grants were awarded to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Defenders of Wildlife, National Wildlife Federation and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

“The challenge that climate change poses to the natural places that people, plants and animals need to survive is something that must be brought into our planning processes,” said Dr. Mark Shaffer, director of DDCF’s Environment Program. “The good news is that in every state, officials already have worked with scientists, conservationists, sportsmen and other concerned citizens to develop what are known as wildlife action plans, so we can focus our efforts on updating these plans to account for climate change, and implementing these plans on an accelerated timeline, rather than starting from scratch.”

“Wildlife action plans have proven to be an effective way for government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and interested individuals to find and focus on a state’s highest conservation priorities, ensuring that we get the most out of every conservation dollar spent,” said Matt Hogan, Executive Director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. In addition to representing state fish and wildlife agencies, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies leads Teaming With Wildlife, the national conservation coalition of 6,000 organizations that support the full implementation of the state wildlife action plans to prevent wildlife from becoming endangered.

State wildlife action plans were first conceived in 2000, when Congress mandated that each state develop a comprehensive strategy for conserving its wildlife. The states submitted their plans to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the fall of 2005, and they were all approved by February of 2007. In developing these plans, state wildlife agencies identified species and habitats in greatest need of conservation attention. Additional information about the wildlife action plans can be found at

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies will receive a DDCF grant of $800,000 over four years in support of a set of activities aimed both at updating the action plans to account for climate change and advancing the implementation of the action plans on the ground. Specific activities will include developing guidance to help states incorporate climate change into their action plans, facilitating nationally coordinated conservation of at-risk amphibians and reptiles, and developing national effectiveness measures related to the implementation of the plans.

Defenders of Wildlife will use its $1.2 million grant to assist states in developing strategies to address the impacts of climate change with a special focus on the issue of corridors and connectivity including the development of a synthesis guide to mapping priority areas in the context of wildlife plans and conducting workshops examining the ways in which the state wildlife action plans can assist in transportation planning.

With a grant of $1.2 million, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) will assist agencies in pilot states ( NY, NC, OR, VA and WA) with vulnerability assessments, identify and promote best practices in planning for climate change, and track progress in implementing those practices. NWF also will work with Teaming With Wildlife coalitions.

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) will receive a grant of approximately $400,000 to create a multimedia public communications campaign to inform sportsmen of the effects of climate change on fish and wildlife, and inspire additional support for integrating and implementing climate change strategies as part of the state wildlife action plans.