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E-M:/ Governor Announces State, Federal Funding for Landowner Incentive Program



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Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2006

Contact: Sue Tangora 517-373-1263 or Ann Wilson 906-228-6561


Governor Announces State, Federal Funding for Landowner Incentive Program

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials today announced more than $1.3 million in financial support to help private landowners develop habitats on their property for wildlife species at risk. The state will provide $404,038 in funding, which will be matched by $946,000 in federal funding.

?We want to make sure that the state is doing whatever it can to ensure our wildlife heritage is protected and passed down to the next generation of conservationists,? Granholm said. ?This funding provides private landowners with resources needed to preserve the habitats species at risk require to flourish in Michigan.?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced nearly $19 million in funding for 37 state fish and wildlife agencies under the Landowner Incentive Program (LIP). The program supports 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 LIP, which is funded through competitive grants with money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, establishes or supplements existing landowner incentive programs. All LIP grants require at least a 25 percent match from a non-federal source.

?LIP offers private landowners financial help and technical support to create and improve wildlife and plant habitat,? said DNR Director Rebecca A. Humphries. ?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.?

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

?Michigan is a national leader in LIP efforts,? Humphries said. ?We have a program manager in Lansing and four regional biologists dedicated to working with private landowners to restore Michigan?s unique natural heritage.?

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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