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Habitat Conservation Efforts in Big Game Migrations Receive $2.1 Million in Grants
The Department of the Interior, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and ConocoPhillips announced on May 3 that $2.1 million in grant funding was awarded for habitat conservation efforts in big game migration corridors and winter range. The grants to state and local partners will leverage an additional $8.6 million for a total conservation impact of $10.7 million. Coordinated by the NFWF, the Improving Habitat Quality in Western Big Game Winter Range and Migration Corridors competitive grant program was developed to support the implementation of Secretarial Order 3362. Funding for the grant program came through the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and ConocoPhillips. Projects that were funded include fencing to funnel big game toward road crossings, conservation easements, restoration of sagebrush landscapes burned in wildfires, removal of invasive species and planting of native forage, fencing improvements on private lands and more.
“We’re thrilled to have effectively leveraged limited grant funding to accomplish meaningful conservation for wildlife," said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. “Working in a collaborative and cooperative fashion with states, landowners, tribes, and partners who are committed to actual on-the-ground habitat conservation projects is the best approach to support a wide variety of voluntary habitat conservation activities.”
“The epic migrations of elk, mule deer and other large mammals in North America is one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena, often involving vast herds of wildlife traveling 100 miles or more between wintering grounds and summer habitats,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “But these iconic animals face ever-increasing impediments to movement from highways, residential development, fencing and other factors. Working with the Department of the Interior and private-sector partners such as ConocoPhillips, NFWF has been able to fund vital conservation projects at migratory bottlenecks and linkages that must be conserved to ensure healthy populations of these iconic animals.”
The full slate of approved grants can be viewed on the NFWF website.