Thursday, September 14, 2006

North American Wetlands Conservation Fund

Thirty conservation projects in 17 states and 12 provinces will receive portions of almost $29 million from the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund. The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission approved the distribution this week, and those funds -- plus nearly $130 million from partners -- will restore almost 210,000 acres of wetlands and uplands.

Established by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the fund receives money from Congressional appropriations; fine, penalties and forfeitures under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; interest from the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act; and excise taxes through the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Fund.

According to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne:
"This is a marvelous example of how the public and private sectors can and do work together to maintain and expand outdoor opportunities for Americans. Acre-by-acre, public and private partners are restoring wetlands across the nation. Wetlands provide excellent habitat for wildlife and provide millions of Americans with a range of outdoor recreational opportunities."
The commission also approved the purchase of more than 4,250 acres for these national wildlife refuges:

* Arkansas: White River NWR and Overflow NWR
* California: Grasslands Wildlife Management Area and North Central Valley Wildlife Management Area
* Maine: Sunkhaze Meadows NWR
* Maryland: Blackwater NWR
* Massachusetts/Vermont: Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge
* Michigan: Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge
* Minnesota: Glacial Ridge NWR (new in Polk County!)
* New Hampshire: Lake Umbagog NWR
* New Jersey: Edwin B. Forsythe NWR
* Texas: Trinity River NWR

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