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CONNER ANNOUNCES $38 MILLION FOR COOPERATIVE CONSERVATION PROJECTS
FT. WAYNE, IND., January 17, 2006- Agriculture Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner today announced the availability of nearly $38 million in funding for competitively selected proposals from state and local governments, nongovernmental organizations, federally recognized Indian tribes, and individuals for projects in four conservation emphasis areas.
"These funding opportunities are examples of the Bush Administration's continuing commitment to encouraging cooperative conservation between government and private partners," said Conner.
The specific funding initiatives are as follows:
- $20 million for Conservation Innovation Grants for development and adoption of innovative conservation technologies and approaches, in conjunction with agricultural production.
- $9.5 million for Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program partnership proposals that address wetland creation and enhancement efforts on prior-year enrolled contracts, those where cooperators will contribute significantly to the Wetlands Reserve Program delivery and technical assistance costs, and easement management projects.
- $4 million for the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) for proposals to control and manage invasive species affecting grazing lands. The GLCI, a partnership of individuals and organizations, maintains and improves the management, productivity, and health of the Nation's privately owned grazing land.
- $4 million for Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) proposals to help partners identify and solve regional, state and local natural resources concerns. CCPI offers a Conservation Priorities component that will fund watershed or airshed planning projects that address terrestrial and freshwater aquatic wildlife habitat, invasive species, livestock nutrient management, minor and specialty crop management, and agricultural air quality. CCPI also offers the new Rapid Watershed Assessments component that the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will use to provide cost-effective watershed assessments quickly to stakeholders and partners.