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E-M:/ Michigan Awarded $655,000 to Support Program for Creation, Improvement of Wildlife Habitat

Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>

Contacts: Sue Tangora 517-241-1153, Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014

Michigan Awarded $655,000 to Support Program for Creation, Improvement of Wildlife Habitat 

The state of Michigan has been awarded a total of $655,000 to support a program to create and improve habitat for rare and declining wildlife on privately owned land. To date, the Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) has funded 135 projects on over 5,500 acres. The program also has provided 200 landowners technical assistance covering 16,000 acres.

"LIP offers private landowners financial help and technical support to create and improve wildlife and plant habitat," said Sue Tangora, LIP coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. "Our primary goal is to help private landowners manage their property for species and plant communities that are rare or declining. We have more than 600 species of animals and plants in Michigan that are listed as endangered, threatened or a species of special concern."

In the current round of funding from the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, Michigan competed with 43 other states and the U.S. Virgin Islands for its portion of $21.7 million. The funds are awarded on a competitive basis. Michigan received $180,000 for Tier 1 grants that emphasize program infrastructure. The state also received $475,000 for Tier 2 grants that focus on program implementation. The funds will be combined with state matching funds to create more opportunities for LIP activities around the state.

"Michigan is a national leader in our LIP efforts," Tangora said. "We have four regional biologists around the state dedicated to working with private landowners on creating and improving habitat for our rare and declining species."

Any private landowner can request assistance from LIP, but priority is given to sites containing or adjacent to target species, such as the Karner blue butterfly, smallmouth salamander, Blanding's 
turtle, and a host of other species. Priority projects also are based on specific habitats in each region of the state that the DNR is working to restore, such as the jack pine barrens in the northern Lower Peninsula, wetlands and grasslands in the southern Lower Peninsula, and mesic conifers in the Upper Peninsula.

For more information about LIP, visit the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr, and click on the Wildlife and Habitat section.

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.


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