U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service approves "A Future for Kansas Wildlife"

TOPEKA -- The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) has announced approval by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of its “A Future for Kansas Wildlife” action plan to conserve Kansas wildlife. The plan is the culmination of nearly two year’s work by scientists, sportsmen, conservationists, and many other Kansans who participated through government agencies, non-profit organizations, and colleges and universities.

“If we invest in conserving wildlife and natural areas now, we can protect these areas for future generations,” said KDWP Secretary Mike Hayden. “A pro-active plan will benefit the health of wildlife and people, and conserve wildlife before they become rare and more costly to protect.”

Many biologists believe the health of wildlife is often an early indicator of disease and pollution that affect people. “A Future for Kansas Wildlife” identifies strategies to address the most critical habitats in need of conservation, a wildlife community approach rather than a species-specific management approach.

Approval of KDWP’s action plan by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) ensures that Kansas will continue to receive grants under the federal State Wildlife Grant program. Since 2001, the USFWS has provided $400 million in grants to states and territories for conservation efforts aimed at all wildlife species. Kansas receives about $900,000 in state wildlife grant funding annually. The Service plans to distribute $68.5 million in grants next spring for states to implement their action plans.

“With an ecological approach to species management, we can make conservation dollars much more efficient and cost-effective," Hayden explained. "The whole intent of this plan is to try to prevent species from becoming listed on state or federal endangered species lists. I know everyone is interested in that outcome. It helps conserve the natural places that bring peace and relaxation to our daily lives, as well as the wildlife that are important to many of our family traditions. We need to invest now.”

The plan may be reviewed on the agency’s website under "Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan.”