U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awards $19 million to states; $315,000 to Kansas

WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will grant $19 million in funding for 40 states and territorial fish and wildlife agencies under the Bush Administration’s Landowner Incentive Program (LIP). The program supports collaborative 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 -- while allowing producers to continue traditional land-use practices. Nearly $315,000 will be available to Kansas landowners.

In the Great Plains, LIP funding will be used to restore prairie by providing landowners with technical and financial assistance to improve at-risk species habitat. Projects will include sustainable grazing techniques, haying, prescribed burning, tree and brush clearing, ecologically-sensitive weed control, prairie restoration, and the purchase of conservation easements.

LIP, funded through competitive grants with money from the Soil and Water Conservation Fund, establishes or supplements existing programs that provide technical or financial assistance to private landowners. All grants need to be matched by at least 25 percent from a non-federal source.

Those interested in LIP should contact the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks at 620-672-5911 or visit the USFWS website . The USFWS may also be contacted by writing the Landowner Incentive Program, USFWS, Division of Federal Assistance, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS-FA4020, Arlington, VA 22203 or by phoning 703-358-2156.