CONTACT: Traci George
Montgomery, Ala. — On July 18th, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Division was awarded $849,510 in Congressionally appropriated federal money to work with private landowners in restoring habitat for species in greatest conservation need.
The Alabama grant, awarded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was part of nearly $13 million of national competitive funding for state fish and wildlife agencies under the Landowner Incentive Program (LIP). Alabama was one of 17 states awarded funding to support cooperative efforts with private landowners interested in conserving natural habitat for species at risk, including federally listed endangered or threatened species and proposed or candidate species. The competitive grants are funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund and establish or supplement existing landowner incentive programs that provide technical or financial assistance to private landowners. All grants need to be matched by funding of at least 25 percent from a non-Federal source.
Alabama’s Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division Director Corky Pugh said, “This is very exciting news for habitat restoration on private lands for wildlife. This process was highly competitive and Tennessee was the only other southeastern state to receive LIP funding. We are grateful for the assistance.”
The funding will target areas in the Coosa, Cahaba and Choctawhatchee River basins and the historical Longleaf Pine range. Restoration projects to be carried out with private landowners include stream restoration, cattle exclusion, alternative watering sources, bottomland hardwood planting, establishing agricultural buffers, exotic/invasive control, native grass establishment, planting longleaf, burning and installation of fire lanes. Additionally, the funding will also complement the red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) Safe Harbor Program for improving and maintaining suitable habitat for RCWs.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.