Through September 11, Teaming With Wildlife Week will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the State Wildlife Grant program, which funds state-based conservation efforts to prevent wildlife from becoming endangered.
The State Wildlife Grants (SWG) Program provides federal grant dollars to every U.S. state and territory to support the development and implementation of their unique State Wildlife Action Plans. Wildlife Action Plans assess the health of each state’s wildlife and habitats; identify the problems they face; and outline the actions needed to conserve them over the long term.
For more than a decade, the SWG Program has served as a stable federal funding source for state fish and wildlife agencies in excess of $600 million. This stability has been critical to the recovery and conservation of many species in greatest need of conservation.
“The SWG program is part of the Department of the Interior’s ongoing commitment to the essential conservation efforts of states,” said Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar. “In our challenging economic climate, the program ensures that states will have the necessary resources to help conserve their highest priority wildlife, plants, and habitats – an investment that will pay dividends for years to come.”
“The SWG Program was created to meet a long-standing need for funding the conservation of fish and wildlife species that are typically neither hunted nor fished,” said Ron Regan, Executive Director at the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “The program has been an important source of funds to help keep America’s common species common and to conserve wildlife before they become too rare and costly to protect them.”
States and their partners have used funding from the SWG Program to combat invasive species, protect natural areas, restore habitat, conduct research and implement monitoring programs that will provide better data on imperiled species and their habitats. Priority for use of grant funds is placed on those species and habitats with the greatest conservation need.
Teaming With Wildlife Week is sponsored by the national, bipartisan Teaming With Wildlife coalition, composed of 6,300+ conservation organizations and nature-based businesses including state fish and wildlife agencies, wildlife biologists, hunters and anglers, birdwatchers, hikers and other conservationists. The Teaming With Wildlife coalition is working to prevent wildlife from becoming endangered by supporting increased funding for wildlife conservation, education and nature-based recreation.
Across the country, state fish and wildlife agencies are hosting Teaming With Wildlife Week events. For more information, visit http://www.teaming.com/
To learn more about funding allocations through the State Wildlife Grants Program for state, commonwealth, territories, and the District of Columbia visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program Web site at http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/