Friday, February 24, 2006

Ivory-billed Woodpecker Celebration 5

As promised, Deputy Secretary Lynn Scarlett of the Department of the Interior visited the convention center on Friday to deliver good news for local conservation groups.

In a standing-room-only room, Scarlett talked about cooperative conservation in which government and citizens work together. “Cooperative conservation is built on a mosaic of partnerships,” she said, “and Brinkley is a leader in 21st century cooperative conservation. It is your efforts that will keep intact the setting” for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

To help local residents continue making those efforts, President Bush requested $1.6 million for recovery planning, almost $400,000 for monitoring and about $200,000 for law enforcement. That request is for the 2007 fiscal year.

Scarlett also announced private stewardship grants to three conservation groups. Mississippi River Trust will receive $100,000 to restore 500 acres and enhance 2,000 acres of habitat that can provide food for ivory-bills. James Cummins accepted the grant.

Audubon Arkansas will receive $247,781 to reforest degraded habitat within 35 miles of where the ivory-bill initially was seen in February 2004. Ken Smith accepted the grant.

The Nature Conservancy of Arkansas will receive two grants: $71,269 to work with private landowners to enhance 350 acres of foraging area and $380,950 to restore 440 acres and transform agricultural fields into stream and riparian habitat. Nancy Delamar accepted the grants.


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