For Immediate Release: September 30, 2009
Contact: Clay Harris; (505) 248-6428
Albuquerque, NM - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has signed agreements for three conservation projects designed to improve ecosystems and wildlife habitat in the Texas Panhandle. The agreements utilize $86,300 in Recovery Act funding and $48,823 in cooperative funding to develop conservation measures that benefit habitat for the lesser prairie chicken, a species that exists in only five states and whose population has declined. The project will include about 13,000 acres in Cochran, Hockley, Wheeler and Collingsworth counties and will involve conservation measures such as removal of old fencing, prescribed burning and control of invasive species.
“We are pleased to enhance wildlife habitat and support sustainable stewardship in partnerships with private landowners in the Texas Panhandle,” said Benjamin Tuggle, PhD, regional director of the Service’s Southwest Region, which includes Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arizona. “Recovery Act funding and important partnerships like these benefit both wildlife and communities.”
As part of the Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, the projects use Recovery Act funds and cooperative funding from the Service’s partners to create work and provide quality fish and wildlife habitat in the Texas Panhandle by meeting long-standing priority needs.
Funding for these projects and hundreds more across the nation comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Of the $3 billion appropriated to the Department of the Interior, the Act provides $280 million for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Service’s Southwest Region received $29.9 million. Those funds are allocated for 129 construction, energy efficiency, habitat restoration and other improvement projects at national wildlife refuges, fish hatcheries and other public and private lands. The projects represent long-standing priority needs, generate the largest number of jobs in the shortest period of time, and create lasting value for the American public. For a full list of projects funded nationwide, visit the Department’s Recovery Web Site at http://recovery.doi.gov.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service is both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information, visit www.fws.gov.